gifts felt, thanks given

red lanterns of spring festival

Holidays, of course, reflect local culture and family traditions. Thinking about American holidays at home brings back dear and deep impressions of now far-flung family, one’s childhood hometown, mums managing an industrious kitchen, flavours one can only find when reunited with their kin. But it is also these things that give cherished holidays the world over a sense of universality.

Living in China, we have spent Thanksgivings eating Xinjiang barbecue and Beijing duck, Black Friday scouring a Chinese market for tea sets and Christmas lights, Spring Festival snowed in and eating birthday cake with rice wine. The imagery changes, but the feeling often is surprisingly familiar.

Chinese holidays, from the New Year to Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrate togetherness with family and friends, the blessings of being healthy, and the passing on of traditions from one generation to the next. Whether we’re introducing an American holiday to our Chinese friends or creating a new tradition by celebrating a Chinese holiday in our own way, these threads get woven together in amazing new ways.

This month at China Tea Leaves, we’d like to explore the new traditions we have found in celebrating holidays in China, the customs, gifts and legends behind each. It’s our wish to give to you a sense of China through our experiences. And we hope you’ll think of giving the gift of China in colour, story, picture and poem to family and friends this season.



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