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Chinese New Year’s Traditional Activities
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

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The Spring Festival  (chūn jiē 春节) is the most important and the biggest traditional festival in China, the grand holiday will be celebrated on Sunday, February 9 and lasts for 15 days till Lantern Festival on Sunday, February 24. During the spring festival, Chinese people will take a series of traditional activities to celebrate their reunion. But different part of China has very different customs. Here are the most typical traditions. 

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Chinese New Year's Couplet (春联)
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

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Chun lian is a special type of Duilian, or couplet. It is used only during the Chinese New Year as part of its celebration. While duilian is permanent, chunlian is a temporary decoration to be placed on the entrance of the house, somewhat akin to Halloween and Christmas decorations.

Duilian comprises of a couplet written on vertical strips of red paper in the best calligraphic style one can muster. In addition, a third horizontal piece may be posted across and on top the door.

Chun lian is written on red paper with ink. Red is a very lucky color for the Chinese, it frightens off the Chinese New Year monster 'Nian' who arrives at this time of year and destroys crops and homes. "Nian" has three weaknesses: it was frightened by noise, sunshine, and the color red. So villagers built fires, set off firecrackers, and painted the doors to their houses red and placed red couplets beside the doors. Red to the Chinese also represents good fortune, fame and riches.

These couplets can be hung outside beside the main door and also inside in important rooms like the kitchen, bedroom and lounge. They are also hung either side of the cooker or hob. They are normally hung for two months after the Chinese New Year although many people leave them all year round for continued good luck.

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Red Envelope (红包)
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

In Chinese society, a red envelope or red packet / red pocket (Known as Hong Bao in Mandarin, Ang Pao in Hokkien and Lai See in Cantonese, 红包) is a monetary gift which is given during holidays or special occasions.

Origin
There are no clear literary sources from which to trace the origin of the red envelope tradition. In China, during the Qing Dynasty, the elderly would thread coins with a red string. The money was called yāsuì qián (traditional Chinese: 壓歲錢 压岁钱), meaning "money warding off evil spirits", and was believed to protect the elderly from sickness and death. The yāsuì qián was replaced by red envelopes when printing presses became more common after the establishment of the Republic of China in 1911. Red envelopes are also referred to as yāsuì qián.

 

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Chinese New Year Greetings
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

The Chinese New Year is often accompanied by loud, enthusiastic greetings, often referred to as 吉祥話 (Jíxiánghùa) , or loosely translated as auspicious words or phrases. Some of the most common examples may include:


Happy New Year
simplified Chinese: 新年快乐; traditional Chinese: 新年快樂; pinyin: Xīnnián kuàilè; Hokkien POJ: Sin-nî khòai-lo̍k; Cantonese: san1 nin4 faai3 lok6. A more contemporary greeting reflective of western influences, it literally translates from the greeting "Happy new year" more common in the west. But in northern parts of China, traditionally people say simplified Chinese: 过年好; traditional Chinese: 過年好; pinyin: guònián hǎo instead of simplified Chinese: 新年快乐, to differentiate it from the international new year. And 過年好 can be used from the first day to the fifth day of Chinese new year.

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Lion Dance (舞狮)
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

History
Lion dance (wǔ shī 舞狮) is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture, in which performers mimic a lion's movements in a lion costume. The lion dance originated in India. The lion is alttraditionally regarded as a guardian creature. It is featured in Buddhist lore, being the mount of Manjusri. There are different variations of the lion dance in other Asian cultures including mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Okinawa, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sydney, and Singapore, with each region possessing their own styles.

Chinese lion dances can be broadly categorised into two styles, Northern (běi shī 北狮) and Southern (nán shī 南狮). Northern dance was used as entertainment for the imperial court. The northern lion is usually red, orange, and yellow (sometimes with green fur for the female lion), shaggy in appearance, with a golden head. The northern dance is acrobatic and is mainly performed as entertainment. Sometimes, they perform dangerous stunts.

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Tibetan New Year (Losar)
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

Tibetan New Year Customs
The Tibetan New year (zàng lì xīn nián 藏历新年), also known as Losar, is the most important festival in the Tibetan calendar. “Lo” stands for year while “sar” stands for new. It is celebrated over a period of 2 weeks, generally during the months of December and January. Apart from Tibet, the New Year is also celebrated in Sherpa, Yolmo, and Bhutan. Generally, the first three days of celebration are the main part of the festival observance. These three days are celebrated with lots of customary traditions.

Losar Date: 1st - 3rd of the first lunar month (Tibetan Calendar)
Losar Festival Date 2013: Feb 11, 2013 on solar calendar

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愚公移山 (yú gōng yí shān)
Learn Chinese - Chinese Idiom

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The Foolish Old Man of the North Mountain, nearly ninety years of age, lived behind two high mountains. He was unhappy about the fact that the mountains blocked his way to the south, so he called the whole family to level the two mountains.While they were working, The Wise Old Man at the River Bend stopped the old man. He laughed and said, "How unwise you are! At your age, old and feeble as you are, you cannot even remove one hair on the mountain, let alone so much earth and so many rocks!"

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The Disapearing History Ⅳ -- Fenghuang
China Travel Guide - Travel in Hunan

Fenghuang
Fenghuang (fèng huáng 凤凰) is found on the western boundary of Hunan (hú nán 湖南). It is a place of natural beauty, and also historical interest. This town has a history of over 1300 years and some of the old gardens, residential buildings, bridges and pagodas date back as far as the Ming (míng 明) and Qing (qīng 清) Dynasties (1644-1911). The scenes in this town will remind you of the landscapes you see in traditional Chinese paintings.

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Lashihai Lake Wetlands
China Travel Guide - Travel in Yunnan

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Covering an area of 1002 hectares (3.9 square miles), as the largest lake in Lijiang (lì jiāng 丽江) area, Lashihai Lake (lā shì hǎi 拉市海) is recognized as one of the most important marshes in Yunnan. It is fed by the melting snow from Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (yù lóng xuě shān 玉龙雪山). Every year, over 150,000 migrationng birds spend the winter here. The lake is near Zhongdian (zhōng diàn 中甸), and 8 kilometers (5 miles) from downtown Lijiang.

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Home Help for Families in Shanghai
China Living Tips - Communication & Others

Living in a foreign country can be challenging, but there are many options for expats and their families to settle in more quickly and easily. One advantage of living in Shanghai is the numerous household service options that can be catered towards their everyday life. Housekeeping services can be hired by the hour, by the day, and there's even a live-in option. Other selections include pet sitters, babysitters, nannies, tutors, and even family drivers. Housekeeping services have established a strong presence in the local expat community and are a great option for freeing family time from household chores.

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Lucas Loh: A Man Who Always Knows What He Needs
Foreigners in China - Foreigners in China

With a clear goal in mind and a big ambition in heart, Lucas Loh, 30, strode out of his comfort zone as a civil servant in Singapore to pursue his career in the business which he believed would definitely take him to the global arena of business.

 
Lucas Loh believes people's demands for real estate derive from their daily needs: offices for working, malls for shopping and houses for living. In this sense, understanding what the market needs and then working to fulfill those needs are the keys to success in this industry. 
 
Loh is the Deputy CEO of CapitaLand China, a subsidiary company of the Singaporean real estate giant CapitaLand Group. This philosophy not only works in business, but has become a way of life for the 47-year-old Singaporean. 
 
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Northeastern University
Study in China - Colleges and Universities

Northeastern University (NEU) is located in Shenyang of Liaoning Province, the center of economy, culture and transportation in Northeast China. The campus with the total-floor space of 750,000 square meters covers 1.98 million square meters, Mr. Chang Hsueh-liang, the well-known marshal who was praised as "hero of ages" by the late Premier Zhou Enlai,is the honorary president and chairman of the board of trustees of the University.

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Language Exchange Stories --- I recommend ForeignerCN Friends to anyone with cross-border interests!
About ForeignerCN.com - WorldFriends Networks

Language Exchange --- I recommend ForeignerCN friends & language partners to anyone with cross-border interests!
Hachimitsusan, Colorado USA/captain0051, Kobe Japan

World FriendsLiving in the central U.S. it has been difficult for me to have friendships with East Asian people as there are so few living here and the cultural values of East Asians seem to be only vaguely understood or appreciated here. My wife is a Japanese and we travel back and forth to Japan fairly frequently but for me personally as an American born guy. I find it difficult to learn more about Japanese language and culture when we are not actually there. I find my membership in Worldfirends to be a very special and helpful resource for meeting new East Asian friends and especially with Japanese people who can speak both Japanese and English languages. I have studied Japanese language for many years in classes here in the U.S. but most of it has been academic and separated from the actual daily concerns of everyday Japanese life. My ForeignerCN friends & language partners contacts have been very helpful for my developing a deeper understanding of the language and how it applies to real world situations. I consider the availability of ForeignerCN friends & language partners as a special and much needed resource for anyone in the two general areas of the world (East Asia and the U.S.) to communicate, exchange cultural information, and simply to get more familiar with each other as friends and people. The ForeignerCN friends & language partners administrators and web hosts have always been helpful and courteous when I have contacted them with my questions and concerns. ForeignerCN friends & language partners has fulfilled many of the wishes and desires I have had for more contact with Japanese people when I am not actually there myself..and I recommend it to anyone having similar interests in developing their language skills and desire for cultural exchange.

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