Chinese New Year starts in a few weeks and the horse will make way for the Year of the Sheep. Down the road from our apartment is Guo Mao Three, which always has some of the best holiday decorations. For the New Year they have this illuminated display, portraying sheep in a traditional Chinese style. It looks pretty good in the daytime but even more impressive at night.
(Blog posted by Ray on February 3, 2015. You can see the original article by following this link to rayallychina.com)
What originally drew my attention to this billboard was the painting of the old Chinese horse-drawn carriage and the tricycle parked in front of it. I thought the idea of showing the ancient transport with the more modern pedal powered made an interesting juxtaposition. When I first came to China in the late 1980s the cycle still dominated the roads and more than 90% of the traffic was bicycles. Nowadays the traffic is 90% cars with fewer and few pedal cycles. I’d love to find my old photos from that period, but I think they are in storage somewhere in the UK probably at my parents house. So next time I go back to the UK I will try to dig them out. As Canthy is often asking to see old photos of me from my first trip to Beijing in 1988.
(Blog posted by Ray on April 26, 2013. You can see the original article by following this link to rayallychina.com)
Ditan Park welcomes visitors to its annual Spring Festival fair to appreciate the traditional customs of the Chinese Carnival. Every year, residents will be selected to perform the role of the emperor during the ritual in the morning, which was conducted annually at the beginning of the year to bless the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) harvest.
Source: City of Beijing
It’s already the 1st February and I’m not sure where January went. I’ve had an irregular start to posting on this photoblog in 2013 and I’ve got behind again by a couple of weeks. Anyway, a new month and another new start to try to post more frequently and stay on tops of things.
This month it’s Chinese New Year, so festive decorations are going up everywhere. Red Chinese paper cuttings are very popular and traditional at this time of year. These ones appeared on the windows of the canteen at work and say Happy New Year 新年快乐 (Xīn nián kuài lè).
I know it only feels like we just had Christmas and Western New Year, but the Chinese New Year is a much bigger event in China and it means I get to go home and see my family. I can’t wait!
(Blog posted by Ray on February 1, 2013. You can see the original article by following this link to rayallychina.com)
Temperatures in the Chinese capital Beijing could plunge to the lowest in almost three decades over the weekend, weather forecasters said Saturday.
Temperatures are expected to drop to minus 15 degrees Celsius in urban areas over the weekend.
Beijingers started to feel the freezing weather after a cold spell came in from Siberia on Friday night, Wang Hua, chief forecaster of Beijing Meteorological Observatory said.
Chen Dagang, a senior meteorological forecaster at the observatory, said the capital city’s lowest temperature in recent decades was minus 15.2 degrees, recorded in 1985.
Wang said in Beijing’s mountainous northern suburb, Sunday’s temperatures could drop to minus 20 degrees Celsius. However, he said they would rise again on Monday.
On Saturday, fewer people were on Beijing’s streets. Not many people were seen at Tiananmen Square, a tourist hot spot.
“Your hands go numb in just a few minutes. Cameras also work very slowly due to the cold,” said a woman surnamed Zhou, who works on the square.
Most parts of the country, except the central and southwestern regions, will see temperatures fall by six to eight degrees Celsius in the next three days. Some parts of north and northeast China will witness a drop of 10 to 14 degrees Celsius, according to the observatory.
The National Meteorological Center on Saturday kept its blue alert for the cold weather that is sweeping many northern regions in China.
(Blog posted on December 23, 2012. You can see the original article by following this link to Global Times)
Canthy and I had to take a trip to the outskirts of Beijing, which meant a fairly long drive. The only problem was coming back it started to rain and rain and rain. The roads became even more treacherous and I think it was probably one of the worst rainstorms I have ever seen. We couldn’t really stop as we had to get home and the rain didn’t look like it would end. At times the water was almost wheel high on the roads, but with four-wheel drive it didn’t feel so bad. Canthy was scared the whole drive back and told me she has never been so frightened to be in a car. I thought of it as an adventure but I was extra careful so it took over two hours to get home. It wasn’t till later that we saw the news and images on TV. It had been the worse rainstorm in Beijing in 60 years, which had left 10 people dead and thousand flooded out of their homes. Luckily we drive an SUV and live on the 37th floor so the water didn’t affect us too much at all.
(Blog posted by Ray on July 21, 2012. You can see the original article by following this link to rayallychina.com)
Around our apartment in CBD, there are a number of new developments and office complex being built. Sometime last year I noticed a number of public artworks, mainly sculptures being erected. Probably the weirdest are these Easter Island heads at the back of our apartment. They look totally out of place, as the originals are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on Easter Island. Sadly, it’s another example of China copying something rather than creating its own art. I would rather of seen something which reflected the area and had a more Chinese character. There are so many new young modern artists in Beijing it’s a shame they had to produce another copycat piece of art.(Blog posted by Ray on May 15, 2012. You can see the original article by following this link to rayallychina.com)
Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed more of these “Beijing Spirit” posters, adverts and billboards being put up around the city. I guess it must be a local government initial to promote Beijing and foster a community spirit. The last time I remember this happening was during the Olympic games in 2008. This latest campaign has all the hallmarks of the old fashion propaganda slogans from the 1950s. It’s a pity it doesn’t create a more international feel and look more creative and attractive, as they appear to be sticking it up at every empty space they can find.
(Blog posted by Ray on April 17, 2012. You can see the original article by following this link to rayallychina.com)
Tomb Sweeping Day, or Qingming – which falls on April 4 this year – is a national festival stretching back more than 2,500 years for people to honor and remember their deceased loved-ones at cemeteries and memorials. It is not just a day to honor those who have passed away, but also a time to embrace life at the beginning of spring.
In our special report, we will cover the origins and customs of Qingming, the ways people pay their respect, and the innovative and increasingly green ways people commemorate the deceased on this day. The following poem by Du Mu (AD 803-852 ) depicted the fetival more than 1,000 yars ago.
A drizzling rain falls like tears on the Mourning Day;
The mourner’s heart is breaking on his way.
Where can a wine house be found to drown his sadness?
A cowherd points to Almond Flower (Xing Hua) Village in the distance.
(Blog posted by ChinaDaily on March 31, 2012. You can see the original article by following this link to ChinaDaily)