Chinese New Year

A man wearing a protective mask walks along an empty street in Beijing on 31 January 2020, following the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

As long as there’s still a grain of rice, stay home

Singaporean journalist Edwin Ong shares his story on surviving the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in Chongqing, China. From his observation, the long period of self-isolation is wearing down Chinese residents’ resolve to stay home for everyone’s sake. One tires most by doing nothing.
Wuhan skyscrapers are wrapped in motivational slogans to rally the people together in the fight against the 2019-nCoV. (Xinhua)

Just back from China, Lorna Wei says "May the force be with us"

Graduate student Lorna Wei returned to her hometown in Hebei province for the Chinese New Year holidays, only to land in the eye of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus storm. She shares her personal experience, from the inside.
Visitors offer up prayers on the first day of the first lunar month at Wong Tai Sin temple in Hong Kong, 25 January 2020. (Dale de la Rey/AFP)

[Photo story] A muzzled anxious start to the Rat Year in China

Chinese New Year is usually a time of celebration and feasting, with the festivities stretching all through the first fifteen days of the first lunar month. This year, however, the arrival of the Wuhan coronavirus has put a significant dampener on what is generally the biggest festival of the year for the Chinese. ThinkChina offers a glimpse into the muted welcome for the Year of the Rat.
My hometown, Shenjiamen (沈家门). (Photo: Shu Jie, provided by Chen Nahui)

[Chinese New Year Special] My hometown is no longer an unchanging home

Young academic Chen Nahui, assistant professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, thinks about the confluence of time and space as she flits between New Year memories long past. What has become of her hometown Shenjiamen, a port town in Zhejiang?
A family portrait with the writer (front row, left).

[Chinese New Year Special] Family rituals of a Shandong Spring Festival

Chinese New Year customs and practices can be different depending on where one is, whether within or outside of China. Young academic Pang Ruizhi describes his Chinese New Year as a child in Shandong, northern China.
My family reunion dinner at Fengnan, Tangshan, Hebei Province. (Photo: Lorna Wei)

[Chinese New Year Special] Food changes, and so does the world

There was a time when “fatty” and “oily” were signs of prosperity. Young academic Lorna Wei reminisces that gone are the days of fighting over the last meatball as the post-80s and post-90s generation Chinese become more wealthy. But with material abundance comes emptiness. Is it harder to be happy? The realities of Chinese life hit home as the Spring Festival draws near.
Fairgoers blowing bubbles at the Confucius Temple lantern display. The floating bubbles lend an air of fantasy to the scene.

[Chinese New Year Special] A bygone era: Chinese New Year celebrations during the time of the Republic of China

The Chinese calendar, based on observations of sun and moon, was chiefly used to mark agrarian time. With the dawn of the Republic of China in 1912, official calendars were reset to the Gregorian system. No matter that the start of the year was now 1 January, people’s lives were still much tied to the land. They welcomed the Spring Festival and Chinese New Year with relish, celebrating their well-earned rest from toil. Photo collector Hsu Chung-mao shares his precious images of celebrations in Beijing and Nanjing from a bygone era.