Across China: Younger generations add new flavor to Spring Festival celebrations
LANZHOU, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- On the eve of the Year of the Tiger, Qin Zitong, 20, chose to wear hanfu to her family reunion dinner.
Hailing from Lanzhou, capital of northwest China's Gansu Province, Qin is a faithful wearer of hanfu, a traditional garment of the Han ethnic group. The young woman purchased an eye-catching outfit with a red jacket and blue dress. She even handmade a golden hairpin with tassels to pair with her suit.
"Donning a new outfit for Chinese New Year is a long-preserved tradition. This year, I decided to wear something different to show my personality," Qin said. "I specially selected the colors and styles for the Spring Festival, hoping that my elders can also appreciate the charm of hanfu."
Falling on Feb. 1 this year, the Spring Festival is the biggest occasion for family reunions and heralds the beginning of spring.
Traditional customs during the Spring Festival include hanging spring couplets around doorways, setting off firecrackers, giving Lunar New Year's greetings and lucky money packets, and going to temple fairs. And the younger generations have in recent years refreshed the thousand-year-old celebration with novel ideas.
Instead of preparing days in advance for reunion dinners on the eve of the Lunar New Year, Zhang Ping, 24, ordered partly finished dishes and hot pot ingredients online before his departure for home.
"The Spring Festival holiday is the only opportunity for me to be with my family as I work away all year round. This year, I hope they can have a relaxed Spring Festival and avoid time-consuming housework," Zhang said. He booked a bed and breakfast near his family home so that he could spend the Lunar New Year together with his relatives.
While some create special family activities, others embrace old traditions with new ideas.
Sales of couplets designed by Liu Jingyu began to soar a week ahead of the Spring Festival, with orders for the banners surpassing 500 each day.
As a tradition, Chinese people write auspicious poems on red paper and hang them on their front doors in anticipation of a prosperous new year. The tradition is called hanging spring couplets, or Chunlian in Chinese.
But the couplets sold in Liu's shop are much more fun than usual. She uses network buzzwords and cartoon patterns to draw the characters, making them less serious and much cuter.
A buyer left a comment on her online store: "I love the cute style of this typography, which makes our decorations out of the ordinary."
Miniature couplets have also been welcomed by young buyers with pets. They hang the mini couplets on the gates of their pets' enclosures to ensure every family member, including their animal friends, is participating in the festival celebrations.
"Younger generations value personality. They are enjoying the holiday in a more creative way," Liu said.
The go-to venues during the Spring Festival holiday are also changing. On social media platforms, popular venues listed by younger generations include bookstores, exhibition halls and live music houses. Attending parties, playing board games and live-action roleplaying are also popular activities.
"Every generation has their own memory of the Spring Festival. And we will carry on the tradition and culture in our own ways," said Zhang, who gives out lucky money via WeChat.