Gauss-Telegraph: Festivities during the Chinese Spring Festival

Gauss-Telegraph: Festivities during the Chinese Spring Festival

by Fangzheng Sun

Qinhuai Lantern Festival, Nanjing (秦淮灯会, 南京) © Ocean Art

Yu Garden, Shanghai (豫园, 上海) © Ocean Art

Spring Festival Gala

It is a comprehensive television evening held by CCTV (China Central Television) to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival. It is the most watched TV program in China. The Spring Festival Gala has been held since 1983 and was certified by Guinness World Records as the most watched TV program in the world in 2012.
When I was a kid, on Chinese New Year’s Eve, after a long meal, the whole family would sit down to watch the Spring Festival Gala. Although some performances are not my favorite, it was always worth the wait. After all, the party must satisfy the appetite of the whole audience.  The moment I watched my favorite idol on TV, I still felt very happy.  Last week, the Chinese Association in Germany also held a Spring Festival Gala. The performance of the students was also very exciting. 
Lantern Festival
Lantern Festival is an ancient Chinese folk culture tradition and usually refers to the Spring Festival before and after the Lantern Festival. Large lighting exhibitions and activities are organized and often accompanied by some folk activities. These have a very traditional and local characteristic.
According to the literature, the city of Nanjing held the Lantern Festival as early as the beginning of the Southern Dynasty. It is the earliest lantern festival recorded in the text.
I’m from this beautiful city, even though I have not been with my family to attend it for a long time, but I still see the lively scene of the Lantern Festival on the posts from my friends.  During the Lantern Festival, the news always reports the unmissable crowds.

© Fangzheng Sun

Money gifts for kids for spring festival – Red envelopes.

“Year-old money” wrapped in red paper is commonly referred to as a “red envelope”. In the past, copper money was the currency. Parents used to carry copper money with colored threads to form a kite-shaped bundle and hang them on the foot of the bed, supposedly to suppress the evil. After eating and distributing the “red envelopes”, the younger generations must hold the “longevity” for their parents. So they are not allowed to go to bed and stay awake until dawn. People think that the life of their parents can be increased in this way. It is an expression of filial piety. That is why bright lights shine all night. Of course, many of these customs have been forgotten, but the giving of “red envelopes” is most expected by children during the Spring Festival. Nowadays, you can also send red envelopes via cell phone, especially if you are abroad and can’t visit your family.