Seasons

A woman rests on a tour bus outside the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, on 23 January 2023. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

[Photo story] A cold start to the Year of the Rabbit

Since China entered winter late last year, temperatures have plunged to record lows in various Chinese cities entering the Year of the Rabbit. ThinkChina brings you on a pictorial journey into these snowclad places in China, and how the Chinese people are spending the festivities.
A little girl touches the lights of a Christmas tree in Seville on 17 December 2022. (Cristina Quicler/AFP)

The cultivation of Christmas trees

Former journalist Lim Jen Erh writes of Christmas traditions and the spirit of the season, and the little things that make us happy amid the chaos of the rest of the year. Perhaps it is good to remind ourselves that we also deserve cultivating.
Commuters walk past a Fight Dengue banner at an MRT station in Singapore on 15 May 2020. (SPH Media)

When a Singaporean tries fighting mosquitoes in Beijing

Beijing-based Singaporean Jessie Tan recounts her experience in keeping her residential compound safe from potentially harmful mosquitoes. While mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent in some countries such as Singapore, the local Chinese would find it rather unusual in their part of the world, leaving one to reflect how different environments breed different concerns.
A couple takes their wedding photographs on West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, 13 December 2021. (CNS)

My longing for the elusive fish of spring

Cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai was looking forward to sampling seasonal dishes during his recent visit to Hangzhou. Alas, not all restaurants are well prepared enough to serve up every seasonal dish a diner desires. Better luck next time.
A wintry scene of a snow-clad landscape. (WeChat/玉茗堂前)

What does Zhuangzi have to do with goldfish in a Suzhou winter pond?

Wintry scenes of snow-clad landscapes make one in the mood for poetry. One look at Suzhou’s Tiger Hill Pagoda or the Humble Administrator’s Garden blanketed in snow and ancient poets would have been lost in their reverie, producing great works. Cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai remembers the year 2018 when there was heavy snow in China's southern Jiangnan region.
What colour is autumn's scent? (iStock)

Taiwanese art historian: What colour is the scent of autumn?

Strolling in the autumn light, Taiwanese art historian Chiang Hsun remembers that his mother always requested for fabrics in the colour of “autumn’s scent”. If fragrance sets a mood, and that mood can be captured in a mood board, what would that scent look like? Perhaps at the very least, it’d be a rich, mellow shade of dust settling on the seasons.
Barringtonia racemosa flowers. (Facebook/蔣勳)

What I Ching and the mangrove tree flowers tell us about life

Chiang Hsun contemplates the transience of life as he observes the fleeting lifespan of mangrove tree flowers found along the riverbanks of Southeast Asia, southern China and elsewhere. Every flower has its own place and purpose, but like life, its brilliance is extinguished all too fast. How can one discern the meaning of life then? Perhaps the three-thousand-year-old book of I Ching offers us some clues.
A staff member takes photos of cherry blossoms at Wuhan University, 17 March 2020. (STR/AFP)

[Photo story] Cherry blossoms are blooming in Wuhan, but is it spring yet?

In these days of Covid-19, the world needs hope. As spring descends and the world renews itself, the cherry blossoms in Wuhan — where the coronavirus was first reported — remind us to take heart that no matter how long it takes, this too shall pass. (Did you know that the cherry blossoms in Wuhan University were first planted by the Japanese army during WWII?)