3 Fast Tips for Making a Cute Christmas Wreath Easily

Now it doesn't take hours to make a beautiful and fashion festival Christmas wreaths that welcome visitors to your home in holiday style!

Fast Tip 1 - Christmas Wreath with Merry Musical Accent

Invite carolers and neighbors to warm up in a front hall echoing with the joyful sounds of the season.

Shiny brass jingle bells, horns, and little toy drums blend with tiny scrolls of sheet music, sprigs of holly, and a festive holiday bow to trim the wreath above and trumpet 'Happy Holidays'!

Fast Tip 2: A Pretty Christmas Wreath for Bathroom 

Christmas is a time for memories and surprises in unlikely places. Brighten your guest bath with a seaside theme that combines beachcombing memories with special treasures collected on family vacations.

We freshened up this wreath with starfish and tiny tulle bags filled with sweet-smelling potpourri , then gave it all a wash of gala gold and red ribbon.

You could also use seashells, sand dollars, or small pieces of driftwood and beach grass.

Fast Tip 3: A Warm Christmas Wreath for the Kitchen

Red gingham ribbon twirled and tied in a big bow cooks up a hearth-warming country look for this wreath.

Silver tea balls and measuring spoons add holiday sparkle and shine. Cinnamon sticks tied with red raffia lend a spicy scent tucked among jolly Christmas cookie cutters. For a fun finishing touch, try penning some whimsical recipe cards for 'Reindeer Treats,' 'Elf Snacks,' and 'Santa Sugarplums.'

* Originally archive: 3 Fast Tips for Making a Cute Christmas Wreath Easily


Do you know the Chinese Double Ninth Festival really?

As the annual Double Ninth Festival in China is coming, as for this traditional Chinese festival, how much do you know about?

The Double Ninth Festival - the ninth day of the ninth lunar month

The "Chong Yang Festival" is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, and it is as such known as the Double Ninth Festival.

Origins: The festival began as early as the Warring States Period (475 - 221 BC). According to the yin/yang dichotomy that forms a basis to the Chinese world view, yin represents the elements of darkness and yang represents life and brightness. The number nine is regarded as yang. The ninth day of the ninth month is a double yang day, hence the name "Chong Yang Festival". (Chong means "repeat" in Chinese.) The ninth month also heralds the approach of winter. It is a time when the living need warm clothing, and filial Chinese sons and daughters extended this to make the festival a time for providing winter clothes for their ancestors. The Double Ninth Festival, therefore, also became an occasion to visit the graves of dead family members. Clothes made of paper would then be burnt as offerings.

The custom of ascending a height to avoid epidemics was passed down from long time ago. Therefore, the Double Ninth Festival is also called "Height Ascending Festival". The height people will reach is usually a mountain or a tower. Ancient literary figures have left many poems depicting the activity. Even today, people still swarm to famous or little known mountains on this day.

On this day, people will eat Double Ninth Gao (or Cake). In Chinese, gao (cake) has the same pronunciation with gao (height). People do so just to hope progress in everything they are engaged in. There is no fixed ways for the Double Ninth Cake, but super cakes will have as many as nine layers, looking like a tower.

The Double Ninth Festival is also a time when chrysanthemum blooms. China boasts diversified species of chrysanthemum and people have loved them since ancient times. So enjoying the flourishing chrysanthemum also becomes a key activity on this festival. Also, people will drink chrysanthemum wine. Women used to stick such a flower into their hair or hang its branches on windows or doors to avoid evilness.

In 1989, the Chinese government decided the Double Ninth Festival as Seniors' Day. Since then, all government units, organizations and streets communities will organize an autumn trip each year for those who have retired from their posts. At the waterside or on the mountains, the seniors will find themselves merged into nature. Younger generations will bring elder ones to suburban areas or send gifts to them on this day.

* Originally archive: Do you know the Chinese Double Ninth Festival really?


Chinese Author Mo Yan Wins 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2012 is awarded to the Chinese writer Mo Yan, who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary.

Nowadays, there are hallucinatory realism from a Chinese writer. To find out more about Mo Yan and his works, please go on with me.

Actually, before the winner was announced - we knew that Mo Yan was a top candidate. China's very happy that this turned out to be the case. A lot of people in this country may not recognize his name immediately. But he's actually one of the best-known Chinese writers in the West because a lot of his work has been translated into English. And his novel "Red Sorghum" was made into a film, which was widely seen in the West. It was made in 1987. And he's been influenced by writers like William Faulkner and the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, certainly familiar writers to many of us in this country and the rest of the West. And as you just heard, in announcing the award this morning, the Swedish Academy described his writing as hallucinatory realism that merges folk tales, history and the contemporary. His writing's also been described as experimental and unique.

Other novels by Mo Yan include "The Republic of Wine," "Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out" and "The Garlic Ballads." He's said to be so prolific that he wrote "Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out," which is a 500,000 word epic, in just 43 days. He wrote it with a brush, not a computer, because he says a computer would have slowed him down because he can't control himself when he's online. He always has to search out more information.

His work is mostly about peasant life set in the countryside. He often writes about the area where he grew up in Shandong Province. He has said that folk literature, storytellers, his own family's stories have been a resource for him. He grew up during the Cultural Revolution. When it ended, he joined the army, and that's when he began writing.

Something very interesting: Mo Yan is a pen name and it means: Don't Speak. And he said he took on that name because when he was growing up during the Cultural Revolution, his parents told him not to speak or to say what he really thought outside of his home. And he says that's very ironic because he's speaking all the time.

China has felt it's been snubbed by the Nobel committee in the past. The only other Chinese writer to get a Nobel in literature was actually a French citizen. And Mo Yan is the vice chair of the state-sanctioned writer's committee. And, you know, he's actually been criticized for his tolerance for public censors in China because in a country where writers are banned and even imprisoned, Mo Yan has cooperated with authorities. Although on literary scholar said: He's an honest writer who knows how to survive in the coercive censorship of China.

* Originally archive:  Chinese Author Mo Yan Wins 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature


China Strives to Develop its Own Wine Industry

Brief: Times are changing, though, and more Chinese people are developing a taste for Western food and wine.

This area around the Helan Mountains is a key part of Ningxia's government’s five-year plan to make this an official wine-growing region.

The area is home to a host of wineries, such as Jiabeilan and Domaine Helan Mountain. One of the smaller wineries is Silver Heights, which was started in 2007.

Winemaker Emma Gao grew up in the area, but is one of the few Chinese to hold a French national certification for winemaking.

"When I was growing up in the 1980s, the wine we drank was sweet, which is how we thought all wine was. We would even add some other beverages to it, so that it would be more palatable. If it was like a proper red wine, very tannic, we would not like it very much," said Gao.

Changing Tastes

Gao says times are changing, though, and more Chinese people are developing a taste for Western food and wine.

"There is already a huge potential market of 1.3 billion customers. Even if just one percent of the population drinks a glass of wine a day, the result you get from this is pretty clear," she said.

Wines from Ningxia, including one from Silver Heights, caused a small stir last December when they beat similarly-priced wines from Bordeaux in an informal blind-taste test in Beijing. One of the contest's organizers, Jim Boyce, runs a Chinese wine blog called grapewallofchina.com.

"The reality was five French and five Chinese professionals picked Ningxia, the top four wines of the 10 were from Ningxia. Does that mean Ningxia is better than Bordeaux? No, of course not," he said. "The best Bordeaux wine is still better - but it does mean there is a capability here to make wine that can compete at a certain level."

Father's Pressure

Silver Heights is largely the realization of a dream - cherished by 70-year-old wine lover Gao Lin, who funded his daughter's wine education in France.

"I told her if you study wine-making, the goal is very clear - we can have some fields here and we can cultivate grapes," she said. "Afterwards, you can come back and work here. So, I can give you money to pay for your education. If you study other subjects, then I will not provide any financial assistance. You will have to support yourself."

Emma Gao acknowledges her father's strong influence in her choice of careers, but says she also had an epiphany moment - when she began to love wine too.

"I was tasting 13 or 14 different kinds of chardonnay," she said. "It was all excellent and I tasted a blooming spring flower, different kinds of fruits, a nutty taste, all of these tastes were delightful. Afterwards, I did a lot of other tastings, in places like Burgundy, the Loire Valley - every area has its unique wines and tastes."

Gao says Ningxia wines also have distinctive characteristics. Her winery produces only red wines, which judges have described as spicy, and reminiscent of roses, tomatoes and black fruits.

* Originally archive: China Strives to Develop its Own Wine Industry


Meet Excellent Chinese Athlete Liu Xiang at the 2012 London Olympics

With the London Olympics fast upon us, WSJ.com introduces the athletes selected to compete at the Summer Games. Check back as CRT profiles athletes from China, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong.

Name: Liu Xiang

Event: Hurdles

Born: July 13, 1983


As a world record holder, a world champion, and an Olympic medal winner, Liu Xiang is one of China's highest-profile athletes. The Shanghai-native first earned his now heroic fame in his home country when winning his first gold medal in Athens in 2004, setting a record time of 12.91 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles.

Track and field watchers expect Mr. Liu to be a top contender for a gold medal at London's summer games, helping the 6-foot-2 star avenge a disappointing performance on his home turf in 2008. It was then at the Beijing Olympics that Mr. Liu, bearing national expectations to dominate, withdrew from the competition, pointing to a painful Achilles tendon injury and disappointing many.

Now Mr.Liu is back on the winning track, having recently won the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in early May.


"There are a lot of strong rivals so you just have to concentrate on your own conditioning and training."

* Original address of this China gift post: Meet Excellent Chinese Athlete Liu Xiang at the 2012 London Olympics


Top 10 Father's Day Gift Ideas -The Most Classical Gifts for Your Dad

Here is a list of Top 10 Father's Day gift ideas in 2012, they are also the most classical gifts for your dad anytime any occasion indeed! Love your parents, Love your father, we are always too busy growing up yet we forget that they are already growing old...

1. Sports Tickets

It sounds sappy, but often great experiences and the memories they create are the only gifts that matter. A pair of tickets for you and your dad to go to a game and support his favorite team is a gift that will wow him and give him something to look forward to once Father's Day is over.

2. Grilling Tools

The grill, like a man's office, is a personal sanctuary where mastery means everything. Your dad may not realize just how many useful tools exist now to help make the grilling experience that much better, so providing him with this Park-Style Charcoal Grill will impress him.

3. Fine Drink

Sometimes, nothing can take the edge off of a day of stress and work like a nice, stiff drink. Buy your dad top-shelf booze like a bottle of Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch Whisky aged 15 years, and you'll be able to enjoy it with him on Father's Day.

4. A set of Fishing Tackle

The traditionalist in your dad may lead him to believe that fishing is only about a rod, a reel and some line. Once he opens the luxurious handcrafted George Lawrence Creel, or even the more reasonably compact fishing-rod tote, you're likely to see his vision of this age-old pastime expand to include his new toys.

5. Golf Equipments

If your father considers a round of golf the closest thing he's found to heaven on earth, then enhancing his equipment to improve his game is an obvious Father's Day gift idea. Wow him with a new set of workhorse Ping G15 irons, or add yards to his drive with the Callaway FT-IZ, and he'll ime he hits a great shot.

6. A Personalized Gift design for your Father specially

A man rarely thinks about the events of the day he was born. But this reproduction of the entire edition of The New York Times printed on the day your dad was born, or any other date, contains all of the news the "Gray Lady" saw fit to print.

7. Books

Eating like a man doesn't mean pounding down pizza and beer in front of the TV. Eat Like A Man: The Only Cookbook A Man Will Ever Need includes 75 recipes from such renowned chefs as Mario Batali, Michael Symon and Tom Colicchio.

8. Digital Gadgets

The GL1 Vehicle Diagnostic Tool for iPhone will directly connect your vehicle's engine On Board Diagnostics (OBD) data to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, letting you run an app to find out what your car's actually up to. As a bonus, it will charge your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch at the same time.

9. High-quality meat

Most men associate the chance to dine on high-quality meat as a luxury only provided by restaurants. There are some excellent mail-order meat establishments such as Omaha Steaks or Prime Chops that can deliver the same level of quality for your dad to use in his own special recipes to make grilling at home that much more of an experience.

10.Landscaping services

The notion that a man enjoys mastering his domain by slaving away in the hot sun to cut grass, trim hedges and plant becomes less true as guys get older. But frugal dads who never like to ask for help may not be too keen on admitting they'd rather have someone else step in. Give your dad the gift of a prepaid landscaping service, and it will save his ego as well as his back.

I love you, Dad!

* Original address of this China gift post: Top 10 Father's Day Gift Ideas -The Most Classical Gifts for Your Dad


A Bite of China - Tasting China

Brief: Recently, the TV documentary "A Bite of China" became popular quickly on the internet since it on broadcast during late-night time on CCTV in China. The program not only demonstrates a variety of Chinese delicacies , but also probe into the philosophy of life and social changes deeply that embodied in many dishes.

 There are many TV programs on Chinese cuisines, but few are like "A Bite of China". The latest seven-part high-definition documentary offers insights into the geographical, historical and cultural dimensions of what Chinese eat.

Helmed by award-winning documentary maker Chen Xiaoqing, A Bite of China is filled with mouthwatering images of food ranging from haute cuisine to local delicacies, the documentary captures the beautiful and refined process of food-making. The program is sure to attract both food buffs and ordinary audiences.

Television is filled with food these days, especially introductions by top-notch chefs and close looks at the complicated and refined cooking processes of haute cuisine, Chen says.

"We have some appetite-boosting shots of food-making, but how to create dishes is only one aspect of food culture," Chen says.

"The program tries to bring something new by presenting more cultural elements related to dishes, such as eating habits and the ethics of eating."

Each episode lasts 50 minutes. Themes range from ingredients to preserved food.

One episode, for example, centers on the staple foods.

It recounts China`s history of paddy cultivation to explain why rice is the mainstay of the southern Chinese diet, while wheat flour is the foundation of the northern diet. But it goes further to break down every staple food into its various styles, such as the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region`s naan (flat bread) and Jiangsu province`s Huangqiao sesame cakes, both of which fall under the wheat category.

The bonus is, the show is not only about dishes. Every episode will highlight different people, who will tell stories about their adventures with food.

"As a saying goes, `you are what you eat," Chen says. "Food is always connected with people. Behind the documentary`s eye-popping and mouthwatering images are personal stories that reflect people's living situations and attitudes. That`s another component that makes it distinctive."

To get enough good stories, the production team spent three months doing research and interviews in about 60 cities before they started shooting last July. Filming lasted about nine months.

An episode about pickles, for instance, revolves around a white-collar woman in Beijing, who returns to her hometown in Jilin province and makes pickles for the first time for her lonely mother.

Another episode captures joyful moments of sons and daughters making New Year cakes (rice pudding) after they return home from various metropolises to celebrate with their parents, who have been staying in their hometown in Zhejiang province.

* Original address of this China gift post: A Bite of China - Tasting China


Chinese People are Sweepping Tombs and Expressing Grief to Ancestors Today

Today is the traditional Qingming Festival in China, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day. The festival is a time to remember loved ones who have passed away or pay respects to ancestors, and to enjoy Spring and nature. 

Today people in most of areas in China all take a variety of ways to pay homage to the martyrs as well as mourning their ancestors and died friends.

From the capital Beijing, Taiwan province,  from the tomb of Emperor Huang in Shaanxi province, to the Sichuan earthquake disaster area, people from all parts taken in various ways to sacrifice their ancestors, martyrs and express their deep memories to them, and funeral parlors and memorial parks in everywhere now has cater a peak of the activities of tomb sweeping. 

Babaoshan Public Cemetery and Revolutionary Cemetery in western Beijing are two major cemeteries in the capital.

The municipal transportation department estimated that the pedestrian traffic in this section of the city reached a peak of about 3.5 million.

Gu Jing is an official from the local traffic police department.

"The 3,000 parking places were not enough according to the current situation, and we have had to open up all the backup parking lots. And our policemen will also focus on this area, helping to ease the traffic jams."

Many visitors brought flowers or cards to the graves of family members instead of lighting firecrackers and burning fake money, the two traditional ways of remembering the dead.

Wang Qi was one of the visitors at the Public Cemetery.

"Now the government has banned lighting firecrackers and burning fake money, so we decided to bring flowers to the graves of our deceased relatives. We can also express our love to them."

Similar events took place in localities nationwide, and the number of people visiting cemetaries and tombs is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions.Saturday also marked the 25th tree planting day in Beijing. Environmentalists and volunteers in the capital city held various activities to promote environmental protection and a green, healthy lifestyle.

Beijing Environmental Volunteers Promote Idea of Green and Healthy Lifestyle

In the Olympic Park near the iconic "Bird's Nest" National Stadium, student volunteers from 30 colleges across China conducted surveys among passersby, testing them on their environmental knowledge. They also offered some environmental tips to onlookers, such as the basic skills of planting flowers.

Wang Leiming, a volunteer from Beijing Forestry University, said they aim to promote the idea of a green lifestyle through the activities.

"We have held three kinds of activities. One is arranging quizzes for citizens to get some environmental knowledge. The other is displaying indoor green plants topassersby. The third is showing environmentally-friendly gadgets made of waste discs, boxes and newspapers. Through this, we want to encourage the public to make use of waste materials in their daily life."

The activities aroused the interest of many onlookers who offered their support.
Ding Yanjuan was one of them.

"I think the activities are very good. Through doing the quizzes, I have obtained some knowledge, such as how to grow indoor plants. The activities are very useful."

In addition, volunteers from 50 colleges nationwide began a nationwide environmental tour from Beijing Forestry University. Participants in the campaign will promote awareness of environmental protection throughout their trip across China.

* Original address of this China gift post: Chinese People are Sweepping Tombs and Expressing Grief to Ancestors Today


Traditional Chinese Paintings & Modern Chinese Paintings

Traditional Chinese Paintings

Traditional Chinese paintings are the art of imagism. They are the manifestation of the painter's spirit and temperament rather than the imitation of nature.

The images in the paintings are like the characters in calligraphy, both of which are highly abstract symbols but easy to convey meanings, and are always integrated with conventional artistic formalities. In this way, the ancient masters created the unique images and formulas in their minds, diverse in style and vivid in content.

However, most people got accustomed to imitating these ancient paintings, at last, most paintings later on were nothing but copies. These copies are flooded everywhere, as a result, they undermines the elegant of art and encourages the vulgarity.

Modern Chinese Paintings 

Modern Chinese painting is still caught in a dilemma--- struggle to survive the downward vulgarity. Luckily, A Wen and some of his fellow artists are bent on breaking the mold.

They want to find their individual identities to create new imageries and new styles of their own and in line with the modern times.

Meanwhile, they continue to be inspired by the elegance of the past.

* Original address of this China gift post: Traditional Chinese Paintings & Modern Chinese Paintings


Special Gift to My Dearest - 2012 Top 10 Valentine's Day Gifts

That time of the year comes once again when men and women, including lovers and couples, share their feelings of love and show every inch of devotion and affection in that day of Valentines.

One way of showing such emotion is through giving gifts that does not just measure one's purchasing power, but thoughtfulness, love, and sheer enjoyment. See this top 10 list for the best Valentine's Day gifts for 2012 and find out some ideas that can make you lady or man happy.

Top 10. Cookbook for Unique Recipes

This kind of gift may be preferable for the ladies as they really love spending some time in the kitchen, experimenting something new for their man in encountering a gastronomical experience. However, you can make this gift more special if you could cook different unique recipes together. Just imagine that you can both explore your preferences in food, snacks, favorite treats, and even hated meals, while cooking dinner that you can both enjoy with each other.

Top 9. A Bun gee Jump Together

It may take some time to get into the place where you can make the jump, but doing this together can make you feel closer through thick and thin, and even close in danger and disaster. Yes, it can make your heart jump with fear, but taking this one extreme event means a lot for Valentines.

Top 8. A Ticket for Two in a Valentine's Concert

Every year, there are certain famous bands, groups, and even singers that render concerts, which is intended to spice up the night for couples and lovers through a night of sweet sentimental music and serenade of songs that tickle one’s love bone. After the concert, you can couple it with a dinner that ends a perfect night of love.

Top 7. Expensive Perfume

Aside from having it used for Valentine's, this kind of gift can be used in any occasion at any given time of the year. This kind of gift is not just for the ladies but for the guys also as there are scents created for both genders.

Top 6. Luxury Cruise

It can be costly, but this is a gift that combines many packages into one. Aside from the dinner taken on the middle of the ocean, it also gets romantic with dance and song, musicians playing while enjoying meals together, or sleeping in a suite inside an expensive cruise ship. There are even packages where you can enjoy sports, spas, and saunas while in the cruise.

Top 5. Bath and Spa Gift Sets

Valentine's Day is not just all about love, but it is also that time of the year where making your other half feel pampered, comfortable, and relaxed. With this said, bath and spa packages are perfect for spending some special time in a truly intimate setting. Imagine the candles, the soothing scent of aromatherapy that eases the senses, and even the warmth of each other's presence. You can even include gifts such as scented candles, aromatherapy kits, and even soft towels

Top 4. Box of Chocolates or Chocolate Gift Baskets

"Sweets for the sweet, sugar for your honey" is a line that expresses the love you feel for your other half. Even though your box of chocolates may consist of expensive brands and names, or just a chockfull of the chocolates your lover likes, price is not the name of the game in this gift. What matters is your thought and effort in coming up with such a gift.

Top 3. Personalized Jewelries

Whether you may think of pendants and necklaces for girls or rings and embellished necktie pins for the boys, what makes a jewelry gift customized for Valentine's Day is the inclusion and engraving of names of the couple, and not just the name of the person to be given the gift to. Make sure that you give this in a place and time that is considered to be the most romantic, and this gift will work like a charm.

Top 2. Big Plush Teddy Bear

This gift is considered a classic because stuff toys are weaknesses of girls, especially those that are huge and great companies in bed. Teddy Bears are specifically favorites because they are cuddly and cute. However, if you think this is just for the girls, wait until you gift your lover a huge teddy bear that Mr. Bean likes. It may be simple, but it makes a clear statement that boys love toys too.

Top 1. Long Stemmed Bouquet of 12 Red Roses

When you think that just one stem of white rose means "One True Love", you can convey your message more if you have purchase a bouquet of 12 red roses. They maybe more expensive in this time of the year, but the number 12 means the full cycle of a clock, the 12 zodiac sings, or the 12 months in a year. Giving such a gift expresses that you think of your lover and your affection is consistent all year long, Red roses are always the best Valentine's Day gift.

Last, I'd like to wish all you lovers can enjoy a wonderful and sweet time today!

* Original address of this China gift post: Special Gift to My Dearest - 2012 Top 10 Valentine's Day Gifts


8 Customs Most People will Do for the Chinese New Year Celebration

Chinese New Year Celebration is the most important celebration of the year. Chinese people may celebrate the Chinese New Year in slightly different ways but their wishes are almost the same; they want their family members and friends to be healthy and lucky during next year.

Chinese New Year Celebration usually lasts for 15 days. Celebratory activities include Chinese New Feast, firecrackers, giving lucky money to children, the New Year bell ringing and Chinese New Year Greetings.

Custom 1: House Cleaning

To clean houses on the New Year Eve is a very old custom dating back to thousands of years ago. The dust is traditionally associated with “old” so cleaning their houses and sweeping the dust mean to bid farewell to the “old” and usher in the “new”. Days before the New Year, Chinese families clean their houses, sweeping the floor, washing daily things, cleaning the spider webs and dredging the ditches. People do all these things happily in the hope of a good coming year.

Custom 2: House Decoration

 One of the house decorations is to post couplets on doors. On the Spring Festival couplets, good wishes are expressed. New Year couplets are usually posted in pairs as even numbers are associated with good luck and auspiciousness in Chinese culture.

People in north China are used to posting paper-cut on their windows. When sticking the window decoration paper-cuts, people paste on the door large red Chinese character “fu”A red "fu"means good luck and fortune, so it is customary to post "fu"on doors or walls on auspicious occasions such as wedding, festivals.

Custom 3: Waiting for the First Bell Ringing of Chinese New Year

The first bell ringing is the symbol of Chinese New Year. Chinese people like to go to a large squares where there are huge bells are set up on New Year’s Eve. As the New Year approaches they count down and celebrate together. The people believe that the ringing of huge bell can drive all the bad luck away and bring the fortune to them. In recent years, some people have begun going to mountain temples to wait for the first ringing. Hanshan Temple in Suzhou, is very famous temple for its first ringing of the bell to herald Chinese New Year. Many foreigners now go to Hanshan Temple to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Custom 4: Staying up late ("Shousui")

Shousui means to stay up late or all night on New Year's Eve. After the great dinner, families sit together and chat happily to wait for the New Year’s arrival.

Custom 5: New Year Feast

Spring Festival is a time for family reunion. The New Year's Feast is "a must" banquet with all the family members getting together. The food eaten on the New Year Eve banquet varies according to regions. In south China, It is customary to eat "niangao" (New Year cake made of glutinous rice flour) because as a homophone, niangao means "higher and higher every year". In the north, a traditional dish for the feast is "Jiaozi" or dumplings shaped like a crescent moon.

Custom 6: Setting Firecrackers

Lighting Firecrackers used to be one of the most important customs in the Spring Festival celebration. However, concerning the danger and the negative noises that lighting firecrackers may bring, the government has banned this practice in many major cities. But people in small towns and rural areas still hold to this traditional celebration. Right as the clock strike 12 o'clock midnight of New Year's Eve, cities and towns are lit up with the glitter from fireworks, and the sound can be deafening. Families stay up for this joyful moment and kids with firecrackers in one hand and a lighter in another cheerfully light their happiness in this especial occasion, even though they plug their ears.

Custom 7: New Year Greetings (Bai Nian)

On the first day of the New Year or shortly thereafter, everybody wears new clothes and greets relatives and friends with bows and Gongxi (congratulations), wishing each other good luck, happiness during the new year. In Chinese villages, some villagers may have hundreds of relatives so they have to spend more than two weeks visiting their relatives.

On the first day of the new year, it’s customary for the younger generations to visit the elders, wishing them healthy and longevity.

Because visiting relatives and friends takes a lot of time, now, some busy people will send New Year cards to express their good wishes rather than pay a visit personally.

Custom 8: Lucky Money

It is the money given to kids from their parents and grandparents as New Year gift. The money is believed to bring good luck, ward off monsters; hence the name "lucky money". Parents and grandparents first put money in small, especially-made red envelopes and give the red envelopes to their kids after the New Year's Feast or when they come to visit them on the New Year. They choose to put the money in red envelopes because Chinese people think red is a lucky color. They want to give their children both lucky money and lucky color.

Most of Chinese people will stop the celebrating in their home on the 7th day of New Year because the national holiday usually ends around that day, however celebrations in public areas can last until the 15th day of New Year.

Happy New Year of The Dragon to All Chinese People in the World!

* Original address of this China gift post: 8 Customs Most People will do for the Chinese New Year Celebration2!