Tag: year of the horse

celebrate the art of the horse in xi’an

The impressive Shaanxi History Museum in Xi’an has opened a special exhibit of spirited horse figures to celebrate the New Year of the Horse. They will be on display until April 25, 2014, so visit this Spring of the Horse to catch them. You can see more of the exhibit of cultural and artistic relics here, and visit the museum’s website here.

For lots more information about visiting Xi’an, stay tuned to download China Tea Leaves 西安 Xi’an, which will be available on iBooks any day now. Check back soon for the latest news about its release and visiting Xi’an!

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!



xi’an’s noble steeds in the year of the horse


2014, Year of the Horse, will mark the 40th anniversary of one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the past century, Xi’an’s Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses.

The thousands of Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses symbolically protect the tomb of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇). There may be no more famous horses in all of China’s five thousand years of history.


Horses served the emperor in life and symbol as much as his loyal soldiers, and so they make up an important part of his necropolis. Here you can see terra cotta horses in formation with the warriors, and pulling bronze chariots. The life-size terra cotta horses stand ready to march, strong in stature, with finely groomed manes and tails. In a separate area close to the emperor’s tomb mound, bronze chariots and teams of horses were found, painted white and decorated with fine metals and ornate bridles. The Qin dynasty even created special stone armor for their noble steeds entering battle, also seen at the museum.

Read more about Xi’an this month, and this Chinese New Year, January 31, download China Tea Leaves 西安 Xi’an to learn more about the Terra Cotta Warriors and plan your trip for the Year of the Horse!

saddle up for the year of the horse


2014 is off to a start, and at the end of the month, we will welcome the Year of the Horse (马年 ma nian). In the Chinese Zodiac cycle, the Horse is full of energy and ready to go, making this new year an auspicious time to travel. And what better place to see this Year of the Horse than the Middle Kingdom?

That’s why we’re happy to announce the release of China Tea Leaves 西安 Xi’an on iBooks this Chinese New Year. Xi’an is one of the four ancient capitals of China, home to the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, and the center of a region with a history as fascinating and complex as ancient Rome.

We’ll be exploring this city’s treasures in the few weeks leading up to Chinese New Year on January 31, so check back often for tidbits about Xi’an’s dynastic past, its rich cultural crossroads, and the best dishes in Xi’an worth crossing a continent for.

Kick off your new year and travel the world with China Tea Leaves! Fully interactive and illustrated, with vivid cultural insights and locations hand-picked by China-based expats, our guides share the rich history and traditions of this amazing place.