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Chinese Valentine´s Day

What´s the first thing which comes into your mind when thinking about Valentine´s day???
LOVE, ROSES, HEARTS, …. Sooooo romantic 🙂

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But what do I have to expect in a very new environment and culture? Well let´s find out together…

Chinese people also celebrate Valentine’s Day on the 14th of February. So it´s basically the same ritual than in Germany and most other Western Countries. Still, they also have their own traditional day. Qixi Festival or the Seventh Eve is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh Lunar month – which is usually in August. The holiday comes from a traditional old story about a love tragedy that has been passed down from one generation to another.

Listen to this: It´s about the romantic love story of Niu Lang and Zhi Nu. Niu Lang was actually told by a cow, his only friend, to find his way to the beautiful Zhi Nu. The magical cow told him to make his way to the riverside where Zhi Nu (a young fairy) and her six sisters had a bath. He took one of the beautiful silk dresses of the girls and hid behind bushes. When they came out of the water the youngest couldn´t find her dress anymore. Then, Niu Lang came out with her beautiful dress and asked her to stay with him. Several years passed and the two still live happily together. From then on both of them meet on a bridge of magpies every year on the seventh eve. So raise your head, you will find romantic going on in the sky 🙂
Awwwwwww how sweet is that :)! The only question which came into my mind: How can she think that it is nice if a guy steels her clothes????

Anyways, the annual gift giving which is commonly associated with Valentine’s Day doesn’t take place in China. So to all of the foreign Girls which live in China – DO NOT WAIT FOR A ROSE, CHOCOLATE OR ANY OTHER GIFT! This will have a tragic end 🙂

But also in China there are several charming customs associated with this romantic day for lovers. On the Chinese Valentine’s Day, people in love like to go to the temple of Matchmaker and pray for their love and the possible marriage in China. So still there is lots of Love in the air 🙂 And the people which are still single will do the same thing but they will ask for their luck of love in the Matchmaker temple. And maybe they will even find another lonely person right next to them. You never know, right :)!!

Jula 🙂

Magpies
Niu Lang & Zhi Nu

 

Cultural, Events in Qingdao, Internship Experience, Languages, Things To Do in Chengdu, Things To Do in Qingdao, Things To Do in Zhuhai

Chinese Shadow Puppetry

Pi Ying Xi is one of the oldest kinds of drama in China, and is said to have its roots in the Han Dynasty. The leather puppets are painted with various colors and their designs follow the traditional moral evaluation and aesthetics coming from historical theaters, legends, stories of classical books or myths. Some are kind or wicked, beautiful or ugly. The positive figure has long narrow eyes, and a small mouth while the negative one has small eyes, a big forehead and droopy mouth. All the leather puppets are sculptures highly precise, simply shaped with decorative patterns. In Gansu province, the play is accompanied by Daoqing music, while in Jilin, Huanglong music forms some of the basis of modern opera.
About its origin; it is said that the Emperor Wu of Han Dynasty was deeply in love with one of his concubines Lady Li, but the good times didn’t last long and she fell sick afterwards. As the Emperor visited her, she covered her face and refused his request of taking a last look at her. She wanted to stay beautiful in his mind so that he’ll remember her forever, because she was afraid that all he favoured was her appearance after all.

After she died of illness, the Emperor missed her so much that he lost his desire to reign.
To help him get over the sadness, an occultist ordered by the minister, sculptured a wooden figure in the likeness of Lady Li and projected its shadow on a curtain, bringing him consolation with the belief that it was her spirit. Her joints were animated using 11 separate pieces of leather, and adorned with painted clothes. Using an oil lamp they made her shadow move, bringing her back to life. This story recorded in ancient books is believed to be the origin of the shadow play.

InternChina - Shadow Play
InternChina – Shadow Play
InternChina - China Shadow Play
InternChina – China Shadow Play
Shadow puppet fight
Shadow puppet fight

Shadow play is popular in various cultures and currently there are more than 20 countries known to have shadow puppet shows . Shadow play is an old tradition especially in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and India. It is a popular form of entertainment for both children and adults!

InternChina - Wayang Kulit Indonesia, Yogyakarta
InternChina – Wayang Kulit Indonesia, Yogyakarta

Rebecca

Cultural, Zhuhai Blogs

The Love Story Behind the Zhuhai Fisher Girl

Everyone knows the emblem of Zhuhai – the fisher girl. But why is she there and what is she holding in her hands like a trophy?

Zhuhai Fisher Girl
InternChina – Zhuhai Fisher Girl

Legend has it that an angel descended to earth one day and fell in love with the beauty of the land. Zhuhai is such a beautiful city – today it is still one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen in China. In every street you can find trees and there are a lot of green parks in Zhuhai city.

Reluctant to return, she turned herself into a fisher girl, weaving nets and searching for precious pearls to earn a living. In addition, she unselfishly used her knowledge and powers to heal villagers who were ill, and so was well loved by one and all.
Soon she met a young fisherman named Hai Peng and they fell in love. Not long after, however, Hai Peng heard and believed malicious accusations, and demanded the fisher girl to give him her magical bracelets as proof of her affection.

The fisher girl tearfully explained the origin of the bracelets. While she was still the daughter of the South Sea Dragon King, the eight bracelets were given to her by the eight palace mistresses, to guard her against the thought of abandoning immortality. She would die if she even removed one. Tragically, Hai Peng did not believe her story and turned to leave. The fisher girl, to prove her love for Hai Peng, removed her bracelets and died in his arms instantly. Hai Peng was filled with remorse and grief.
His great sorrow moved the Elder Jiu Zhou Huan, who taught him the way to bring the fisher girl back to life. For this he had to travel to the Jiu Zhou Island to find the Resurrection Grass, which must then be fed with the blood of man. After much difficulty, Hai Peng found the grass and grew it with his own blood. Days turned to years, and the grass was finally ready and used to revive the fisher girl. Henceforth, the fisher girl became a true mortal. On the day of their wedding, all the girls together found a gigantic, magical pearl at the seashore. In gratitude, the fisher girl presented this to the reverent Elder.

A beautiful love story which happened in our City. Today you can visit her at the beautiful coastal side of Zhuhai. Buy a fresh coconut and walk along the romantic Lovers Road. You can also find a lot of small souvenirs like the statue of the fisher girl everywhere in Zhuhai.

If you want to come and see the Zhuhai Fisher Girl then apply now!

 

Source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Zhuhai
Image ‘Zhuhai Fisher Girl’ Source: http://www.chinafacttours.com/zhuhai/attractions/fisher-girl-statue.html

Chengdu Blogs, Chinese Festivals, Cultural, Qingdao Blogs

Chinese Valentine´s Day

On the seventh day of the 7th lunar month the Chinese people usually celebrate Qixi Festival. This is a Chinese festival that celebrates the annual meeting of a cowman and weaver girl in Chinese mythology. It is nowadays called the Chinese Valentine’s Day, too.

 

The earliest-known reference to this famous myth dates back over 2600 years ago, the festival originated from the romantic legend of two lovers, Zhinü and Niulang, who were the weaver maid and the cowman. Their love is forbidden, thus they were banished to opposite sides of the Silver River (Milky Way). Once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day.

 

Ancient start of a forbidden love. source: sy.01ny.cn

Traditionally on the day young girls go to the local temple to pray to Zhinü for wisdom and true love. As in the ancient China marriage almost determines a woman’s course of life. Nowadays the Chinese girls don’t want to be dependent on their husbands anymore.

the moon supports the forbidden love, source: hi.baidu

But the festival still maintains its good will for true love. It’s fair to call it Chinese Valentine’s Day. On this day couples usually go out to have dinner or see a movie.

However, there has been criticism that the festival has lost it’s roots and turning westernized and commercialized.

modern interpretation, source www.cvsrb

 

 

Have a look on our website and send us an email for more information to info@internchina.com

 

 

Chinese Festivals, Cultural, Languages

Numerical Superstitions: A trend among young Chinese people to celebrate “Internet Festivals”

Hi everyone, Max here. Ever wondered why so many bachelors in China were freaking out on 11.11?  Did you know it’s a good idea to declare to the person you love on 5.20? Today we will explore the implications of those dates for young Chinese people.

Image source: stdaily.com

Traditionally, Chinese people believe strongly in numerical superstitions. People always tend to make connections between the pronunciations of numbers and those of the words that sound similar or homophonic. 6 and 8 are two of the most common examples one can find in everyday Chinese life.  8 in Chinese is pronounced “ba”, which sounds pretty close to the pronunciation of the word rich, “fa”. Thus, 8 always means wealthy to Chinese people. 6 means good luck for Chinese people; however, the origin of its meaning is sort of different from that of 8’s meaning.  It comes from a Chinese phrase, which, if translated into English, means two 6s make good luck.  On the other hand, 4 is a typical bad luck superstition of Chinese people. 4 is pronounced as “si” in Chinese, which sounds almost the same to the pronunciation of the word death in Chinese.

Now that we have known the basic rules of how Chinese people attach meanings to numbers, we can start to explore the non-traditional “Internet Festivals” in China. One thing you need to know is that in China the date is expressed in the order of Year/Month/ Day. The most popular “Internet Festival” should be 11.11: 1 looks like a stick, and a stick in Chinese also means a person with no boyfriend or girlfriend. Now you can see that as four 1s get together, it must be an incredibly shameful day for those with neither lovers nor dates; not to mention 2011.11.11. Another popular festival now is May 20. It is the day of  “I love you”, a new Valentine’s day. 5 (wu) sounds like the word I (wo) in Chinese, 2 (er) sounds like love (ai), and 0 (ling) sounds remotely like you (ni). Now you know that if you love someone and have no courage to say it to him/her, go for it on 5.20.  What’s even crazier is that people broke the record of marriages on a single day on both 2012.12.12 and 2013.01.04. Why? Because the pronunciation of 1 (yao) is similar to that of the word want (yao), thus 2012.12.12 becomes “want to love, want to love, want to love.” Also, 1, 3 (yi san) sounds like for a life (yi sheng), and 1, 4 (yi si) sounds like forever (yi shi).

Nowadays, traditional numerical superstitions are getting further away from young Chinese people.  Instead of attaching numbers to good luck or ominousness, young people start to create festivals that satisfy their emotional needs, such as love. In other words, they attach numbers with what they like but not what they fear, either to gain or to lose.

Do you want to learn more about traditional and modern culture in China? Apply now for an internship or send us an email for more information.