New Year Celebrations

Beijing Travel Blog

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Being here in Beijing for the new year celebrations, that is for the spring festival, has shown me on one side how we share similar holidays

around the world and how different we are.  Firstly the fireworks, these are banned in a lot of countries or considered potentially dangerour both to those who light them or others standing nearby.  The fireworks here are left of nightly and even during the day, for a period of seven days.  The displays are both spontaneous and awesome, with the night sky being lit up on all sides either at the same time, or seconds apart.  The only problem with this is the sound of the rockets falling - the wheee in the sky at first is a little daunting as you dont know where

it is going to land and you sort of 'duck' or look around warily that causes the chinese standing near you to laugh.  Also whilst you are gawking at the colors and displays, most of them walk calmly by, nonchalant to what is going on around them.  As for firecrackers, these are let off at all hours and so far I havent seen any attached to a dogs tail, but adults as well as children are bravely or  crazily running around with them in tow.  Sparklers are jumbo sized and twirled around to set of maximum light and visibility.  It is all charming and fun, but goes on till the early hours of the morning, setting off all car alarms!!

Gifts are a must and are wrapped in red paper for luck, money is given in red envelopes and a gift can be anything from red underwear to a large box of oranges that are also considered good luck.  Family meals, visitations and dumplings are a must and I myself was taken to a traditional family home, of a master of chinese wrestling where the table was laden with cooked vegetables, meat, fish and rice and many glasses of wine drank with a toast every time.  They were delighted when I taught them the Israeli toast of 'L'hayim' to life and kept repeating it again and again. 

Their warmth and hospitality in very simple, traditional but not poor surroundings certainly helped make my entry into Beijing a memorable one.  Today I am off to the Temple of Heaven, I did try yesterday, but it was just too cold. 

To read more about my adventures, please log onto my blog

and feel free to comment and invite me to yours.




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photo by: Eric