In many Western countries rats and mice are simultaneously considered to carry disease and also to be cute. Similarly, in China, whilst the animal itself is still unwelcome, as the first of the twelve zodiac signs rats are actually very auspicious. So what lies ahead this new year? Read on to find out what kind of energy the Rat will be bringing you!
In China, the new year is calculated according to the lunar calendar (农历; Nónglì). Although the Gregorian calendar is standard, the lunar calendar dictates the dates of traditional Chinese holidays and helps people choose auspicious days for important life changes such as weddings, funerals, moving house or starting a business.
Continue reading “What to expect in the Year of the Rat!”
At Spring Festival there are many ways to decorate, but one of the most common is to paste the character ‘fu’, 福, on doors and windows. There is evidence that this custom dates back to the Song dynasty (AD 960 – 1279).
福 is pronounced fú and means ‘blessings’. It is traditionally handwritten in black or gold ink by itself on square red paper, with the corners pointing in the directions of the compass, and it is hung up facing outwards to keep bad luck away and bring good luck to the home. It is often hung with other decorations, such as couplets and red lanterns.
Continue reading “福 – China’s luckiest character? 2020 Edition”
Failing to live up to its namesake’s stereotypical laziness, the Year of the Pig was a non-stop hurtle from project to project at breakneck speed for Cultural Keys Chinese Culture Centre.
While we were hoping the Year of the Pig would see us raise the profile of our company, and continue to help people access and experience traditional Chinese culture, the number of people who joined us, and the number of partners who decided to work with us, exceeded even our greatest hopes for the year!
Read on to see our happiest moments of the year, and be sure to share yours with us on Facebook and Twitter!
Continue reading “Cultural Keys’ happiest moments from the Year of the Pig”
If there is one thing we all know (and definitely appreciate!) it’s how quiet Beijing generally becomes during the Spring Festival. Of course, quiet can also mean it’s a little more difficult to find fun and interesting things for the whole family to enjoy.
But difficult certainly doesn’t mean impossible, especially in Beijing! One fun way to celebrate the new Year of the Rat is to attend a temple fair, which have been traditional throughout China for hundreds of years.
Continue reading “Chinese New Year 2020: Beijing Temple Fair Roundup”
Spring Festival is much more than New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! Starting from New Year’s Day, the entire festival actually lasts 15 days – although some people measure it from the Laba Festival (January 2nd) or Xiao Nian (January 17th)!
Read on to find out more information about some of the most important days of the festival and the history and traditions to be aware of, as well as exactly which date they fall on in 2020!
Continue reading “Chinese Spring Festival 2020 – A day by day guide!”