Changing China

Giant on the move

Happy New Year of the Rat!

February 7, 2008

Today is the first day of the Lunar New Year, China’s favourite family festival.

The Year of the Rat replaced that of the Pig at midnight on Wednesday and once again Beijing resembled a war zone with fireworks exploding all over the city in quantities those who have never been in China at this time can only imagine.

Of course, this is Olympic year and the showpiece venue of the Games – the Bird’s Nest National Stadium — was lit up for the first time on New Year’s Eve.

Bird's Nest lit up 

Another feature of the Spring Festival are the Temple Fairs and at the one I attended in Longtan Park in the south of city, the Olympics were much in evidence too.

Fuwa at Chinese New Year celebration

These children were part of a band of roller-skating Fuwas (the Fuwa being the mascots of the Games) who took part in a show with packed with more familiar entertainments such as acrobats, stilt walkers and ethnic dancers. 

Xin nian kuai le! 

Picture of the Bird’s Nest by Claro Cortes IV. The amateur effort below by Nick Mulvenney.  

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