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Beijing exhibition celebrates start of lunar new year

01-24-2014 09:29 BJT Special Report:2014 Spring Festival |

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The Lunar New Year is just one week away and that officially signals the start of festivities. Our reporter Fei Ye brings us this report now from an exhibition in Beijing, which is showcasing and celebrating the many traditions associated with this time of year.

Although the Lunar New Year starts on the first day of the first lunar month, the celebration of the big holiday launches a week earlier in many places around China.

We are celebrating Xiao Nian today, which literally means little new year in Chinese or the prelude to the Lunar New Years Eve. From this day onwards, traditionally people start preparing New Year goods. The preparation commonly includes stocking and making all kinds of traditional food, buying new clothes, hanging the couplets on both side of the door and red lanterns inside and outside of the house.

In order to revive and continue traditions, the Ministry of Culture organized a New Year Custom Week at the Shijingshan Gymnasium in Beijing. The exhibition displays 77 traditional New Year customs, including paper cutting, lantern making and selling traditional sugar figurines. We met Liu Kuili who explained to us what the different customs mean.

Liu also says that it is important to teach the next generation about such customs. Wang Xiu Ju is the sixth generation in her family to make these colourful lanterns, which she has already passed down to her daughter.

However, another very important preparation for Xiao Nian is the food. In Northeast China, as is tradition on this day, people prepare a special sweet snack called Tanggua for the Kitchen God. It is made with malt sugar and sesame seeds. When it’s cold, it’s crispy, when it’s warm, it gets hard and sticky. In the south of China, people make Nian Gao, a new year cake made from glutinous rice, which literally means increasingly prosperous - year in, year out.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: CCTV.com

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