Tagged new year

day trip – shawan january 18

Teachers, classmates, students of life, come to the scholarly village of Shawan in southern Guangzhou!

Shawan is a well preserved Lingnan style town, with a collection of stately buildings to explore. The grandest building is the Liugeng Hall, which is the ancestral temple of the He clan. This family has a long history going back to the Yuan dynasty, and a proud tradition of young scholars who performed well on the imperial examination. In fact, the whole town can be seen as a scholar’s study, so what better place to study China and wish yourself well for the rest of the academic year!

Saturday January 18 will also be the Xiaonian (small year), an important holiday leading up to the Danian (big year), the first day of the Chinese New Year. Come see how southern China prepares for the most important holiday of the year.

Saturday, January 18
~8:00am – ~5:30pm

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

If adding me for the first time, be sure to mention Trips or Shawan in your introduction.

or contact me by email (chinatealeaves @ yahoo.com)

day trip – flower markets february 2

Come experience the frenzy of preparation for Chinese New Year – at the grand, traditional flower markets of Guangzhou.

The capital city will be filled with throngs of people, readying pots of orchids, tangerine trees, bamboos, and other lucky flowers for decorating their homes. Every city has places to buy flowers like these, but Guangzhou’s markets are destinations in of themselves. Lanterns stream from ancient trees lining the streets, gates and floats are constructed to welcome the year of the pig, plum blossom branches sway throughout the crowd. What better place to find the spirit of Chinese New Year?

After touring the markets, we can head to the nearby Guangxiao Temple, a Buddhist temple with nearly 2,000 years of history. Make your new year wish, visit the early Song dynasty iron pagoda, and soak up the atmosphere as families come to pray and the faithful workers quietly beautify the lush surroundings of the courts and gardens.

We will go by train from Luohu to Guangzhou East station, then take a short metro ride to reach the Yuexiu Flower Market. From there, we can walk the old streets of Guangzhou, past the classic People’s Park to the Guangxiao Temple. Return train will also arrive at Luohu.

Price: 249RMB per adult, 160RMB for kids between 1.2-1.5m (20RMB off for ABNet or SWIC member), kids under 1.2m get an additional discount – contact me. Price based on tickets available at time of writing; confirm price and schedule when contacting me.

Saturday, February 2. Meet at 9:00am at Luohu train station to pick up tickets, for 9:36am train. Planned return to Luohu at 17:48.

Price includes rail tickets, entrance to Guangxiao Temple, and tour.

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is greta-qr-crop-297x300.png

If adding me for the first time, be sure to mention Trips or Flower Markets in your introduction.

or contact me by email (chinatealeaves @ yahoo.com)

spring festival is on its way

lanterns stringing

Spring Festival (春节 chūnjié), or Chinese New Year, is fast approaching on January 31. If you’re in China, this means kids are already out of school, department stores are fully decorated with red lanterns and budding trees, shoppers stock up on gift baskets, fruits, and baijiu, the classic white liqueur, and everybody’s already a little bit on vacation, mentally anyway. The preparations really kick up a notch starting today, the beginning of the xiaonian, (小年), the final week before the new year.

If you are in China before or during the Chinese New Year, you will enjoy a festive mood and be able to join in the special preparations and celebrations. Here are a few unique events and festivals you can experience before, during, and after the start of the new year.

Make niangao (sticky new year cake) and dumplings at a traditional folk fair in Tangqi Ancient Village outside of Hangzhou.

Visit the temples of Shanghai to ring the monumental bells for luck and pray for an auspicious year.

 Wrap up your Spring Festival at the Lantern Festival, the fifteenth day of the New Year, at Tang Paradise in Xi’an, and take a special walk around the City Wall to enjoy the brightly lit lanterns, towers, and rooftops.

The seven-day official holiday will start on January 31, but, like Christmas or New Year’s in the west, family celebrations really begin with the happy time anticipating the holiday and getting ready. This Year of the Horse (马年 mǎ nián) we say with special excitement, 马上春节回家!(Mǎshàng chūnjié huíjiā) – Very soon Spring Festival will return to our home!

Check back next week as we get ready for the New Year and the release of China Tea Leaves 西安 Xi’an!