Spring Festival Special
Many Beijing families have come to parks
to enjoy some ice skating. (Photo:CCTV.com)
BEIJING, Feb. 6 -- While winter storms have pounded
many parts of China, the capital has avoided the harsh weather. Now Beijing
residents are preparing for the biggest national holiday of the year in the
Unlike in the country's central and southern areas, which have suffered
from heavy snow and freezing temperatures, winter in Beijing has been a lot of
fun for the residents. Many families have come to parks to enjoy some
Others are crowding the shops to buy New Year decorations full of wishes
for good luck and prosperity. Markets are full of bright, shiny, red and gold
decorations. And as the coming year in the Chinese calendar is the Year of Rat,
images of rats are proving to be the most popular.
A Beijing resident said, "I'm buying some decorations with the words 'good
fortune' on, and of course some images of rats, just to help build up the New
Behind the commercialism, there remains a tradition of artwork that
supplies many of the decorations that support the festivities. At some of the
capital's art studios, folk artists are working to meet the demand of
traditional gifts and souvenirs that go with the New Year beliefs. Miniature
gourds with images of rats are one example of this.
Artist Xu Qing from Baigongfang Art Studio said, "Since ancient times, the
gourd has been regarded as something that brings people wealth, happiness and
Another traditional decoration, which can be seen in many Chinese
households during the festival, is paper cuttings. Craftsmen in studios are busy
producing images of rats.
Paper cut artist Chao Caixuan from Baigongfang Art Studio said, "People
consider the rat to be like a god of wealth, so they'd like to put up images of
rats in their homes, especially in the Year of Rat."
The Chinese calendar rotates on a 12-year cycle, with an animal for each
year. The country will welcome its Year of the Rat on Thursday February 7th.