Why Chinese lanterns

But why the Lantern Festival?

From my research, it would be a custom imposed by an emperor of the Han dynasty (around -200 BC) who, having learned that Buddhist monks traditionally lit lamps to welcome the 15th geniuses first day of each lunar month, ordered to light lanterns on the same day in the imperial palace and the temple as a sign of respect to the spirits.
That’s the story.
What about today?

A Chinese friend told me that I should not miss this evening in the streets of Shanghai because I can see the kids hang lanterns behind wheelchairs.

We therefore mounted a fine equipped and wanting to avoid the crowd announced in Yu Garden in the Old Town which was specially decorated for the event, we thought of going to the Bund on the banks where the large pier not fail to see swarming the famous lanterns rolling missed …

By cons, we were treated to a magnificent fireworks display from boats floating on the Huangpu, and we are well satisfied.


We will not even see the famous vendor “tangyuan”, these balls of glutinous rice with our classmates North Koreans we were praised in the morning.

Well we will do better next year


Lantern festival

The center also had put on his clothes light. During a stroll on Nanjing Road, we were able to balance the huge red decorations we were about to hang throughout the street.

Passage through the Xujiahui area: impossible to forget you’re about to leave the year of the monkey to pass in the year of the rooster, as the bird is declining in all forms in the shopping district.
Around these big red balls as floating in the sky and our ears not been spared either the incessant noise of firecrackers.

I thought that they were banned in Shanghai, as well as fireworks, considered too dangerous. Perhaps she prohibition concerned that the city center, she was lifted, or can you break it without too many complications …? The fact is that we have seen firecrackers and fireworks, in particular 8 Years Eve, where he wants better not count sleep early: your neighbors will remember your good memories …:]


The Chinese New Year’s Eve is supposed to happen around a good meal with your family? Well that’s what I did, I spent the evening with Sandrine and we could see the famous fireworks woke Minhang all night.

Festivities in Beijing

We were there in the last year of the rooster. And the next day we put the focus on Beijing, hoping to see other customs for the next days festivities.

And we were disappointed overall. No dancing dragons on the horizon throughout our journey. In fact, I have since learned that these dances were held on specific days of the fortnight, and perhaps they occur in more neighborhoods as around tourist spots.

We are not quite empty-handed, arriving at Beihai Park, we saw a group of dancers accompanied by drums, always colorful.
(C) S.Monthéard
By cons, in Beijing we discovered another related event New Year festivities: the first Sunday after the new year, we were in the midst of a veritable carnival in one of the temples of the city.
While we were looking for in fact the Lama Temple, we were attracted by the animation that reigned near a place that looks like a temple.
We had already noticed people wandering the streets proudly kinds of dolls scarecrows or other adornments strange, and they were even more numerous.

Last entry was a dense crowd that moved from all sides. We heard singing karaoke coming from behind the walls. Guided by them, we came across a real carnival with games and jackpots (lint hugest each other) to the key.

Then we continued our little tour, more or less to the vagaries of crowd movements, to find avenues of stalls offering kitschy toys we could find in our neighborhood in raffles. And 12 obliges a black cloud before attroupée food stalls noisy, smoky and fragrant.
It was not the dragon dances, but it was mind-blowing and exhausting


We will not see anything more to Beijing to find the holiday spirit we must wait to return to Shanghai, ready for the last day of the Spring Festival: the Lantern Festival!

From paradise to chinese hell

When I arrived in early September, I was warned that it can get very cold in Shanghai, especially when it rains, but it was not that I expected to see snow, both falling snow here are rare.
Well for my first winter in Shanghai, I had snow 2 times until today! It had snowed 29, not enough to hold it, but it was already great given region. So what was our delight in seeing yesterday, the 30th, large flakes falling outside our windows to finish in a thick white carpet.

So, to face the cold Shanghainese, we released equipment rigor:]


And yes, Marieke and Nils, we went into town to see among others the view of Shanghai’s skyline since Timo new apartment. Indeed, while the day before it was too soft for the city snow makes its appearance yesterday she is well and truly coming to cover the roofs of central Shanghai.

Battle of snowballs, snowflakes and white down, all this could simply be idyllic, but it is not counting on:


– Cold, is not it the red Marieke:]

– Created panic in Shanghai!

Even in normal times, it is better not to pay too much attention to how the Chinese may lead to a heart attack chopper, I let you imagine the situation when the temperature drops below 0 ° C, and the Highway is more than icy runway!