Festival

A close-up shot of a Yingge performer in Puning, China, on 17 February 2024. (Screen grab from Anadolu Agency)

[Video] Yingge, 'Heroes’ Song': China’s ancient warrior dance

With painted faces and elaborate costumes, Yingge (英歌) performers stride and dance with power and vigour to the rhythmic beat of pounding drums. The fusion of opera, dance and martial arts culminates in an artistically distinct performance that is a part of China’s intangible cultural heritage.
A God of Fortune distributes hongbaos to visitors at Liandao Scenic Area in Lianyungang city, Jiangsu province, on 14 February 2024. (Xinhua)

Rising hongbao rates are putting pressure on Chinese youths

As China’s tradition of giving red packets or hongbaos during festive occasions puts young people under pressure, they are pushing back by giving fewer hongbaos or none at all, hoping that their refusal to conform will help to bring the focus back to the sentiment behind the giving.
Villagers sell agricultural products on train, Guizhou province, China, on 25-27 January 2024. (Screen grab from CCTV)

[Video] Farmers’ markets on China's 'slow trains': Going places

In today’s fast-paced world, China's “slow trains” remain essential. They stop at many otherwise inaccessible areas, providing transport for rural residents and a means for them to bring their agricultural products to nearby towns. Designated cabins on the train turn into makeshift farmers' markets, especially in the run-up to Chinese New Year.
Customers wait outside a restaurant at a shopping mall in Shenzhen, China, on 19 January 2024. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Hong Kongers flock to Shenzhen for value-for-money CNY reunion dinners

As the Chinese New Year approaches, many Hong Kongers have the tradition of travelling to Shenzhen to enjoy reunion dinners at lower cost with better service compared with back home. Lianhe Zaobao journalist Daryl Lim speaks with diners and restaurant managers to find out more about this trend during the festive season.
Long table banquet held in Habo Village, Yunnan, China, on 3 January 2024. (CCTV)

[Video] Long Table Banquet: A thousand-people feast

China’s Long Table Banquet, a time-honoured tradition of the Miao, Dong, Hani, and Yi peoples, is a grand spectacle where thousands gather to indulge in a feast of delicacies and performances. Apart from ringing in the new year, the event is one of thanksgiving at the close of harvest season.
Shirtless performers strike molten iron at Xingyi, Qianxinan Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou province, China, on 27 January 2024. (NurPhoto via Reuters Connect)

[Video] Striking iron flowers: An art for the brave

In the 1000-year-old folk art of "Striking Iron Flowers" (打铁花), molten iron is struck with wooden rods to create sparks cascading through the sky like blossoming flowers. With temperatures of molten iron soaring to 1600°C, artisans bear countless scars across their bodies.
The dragon in Singapore's Chinatown has four claws. (SPH Media)

Year of the Dragon: How to tell a 'real' dragon from a 'fake' one

Commentator Zhang Tiankan notes that the mythical Chinese dragon has gone through numerous iterations over a long history, and there is not one definitive version of it, much less one “correct” number of claws that it should have. As long as the general image is in line with its majestic and fantastical heritage, the number of claws is secondary.
People dressed as topless “Batman” at the Halloween parade. (Weibo)

Shanghai youths release pent-up emotions at 'Halloween with Chinese characteristics'

Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing recaps this year’s Halloween parade in Shanghai, which saw young people expressing their thoughts on current affairs through their costumes. Will Halloween celebrations be as boisterous next year?
Young performers wait to take part in the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong, China, on 28 September 2023. (Lam Yik/Reuters)

It’s Mid-Autumn: Time for some mung bean pastry

Cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai writes of the humble mung bean pastry, a classic snack of the people that has been made in the traditional way for generations in Taiwan. Now, the well-loved pastry has been given new spins in modern times, from “Florence-style mung bean pastry” to a lacto-vegetarian version named after Chinese poet Li Bai.