Spring Festival is a jolly time for the Chinese nation, full of traditional, bustling activities. Therefore, to make for a complete Spring Festival edition of In the Spotlight, we've prepared a few of the songs that may accompany these activities.
In terms of contrasting traditions, the evening before the Chinese lunar new year is a little like the West's Christmas Day and New Year's Eve rolled into one. The day truly begins in the evening with family members trying their best to gather for an evening meal at their parents home. After this important reunion, the whole family usually stays up late, drinking tea, eating snacks and waiting for the arrival of the lunar new year. The night will culminate with the explosion of countless firecrackers. Indeed, it's believed that those families whose firecrackers last the longest will enjoy the most prosperous lives in the new year. Moreover, this song "Waiting for the Arrival of the New Year" takes exactly this tradition as its subject matter.
The first day of the Lunar New Year marks the true beginning of the Spring Festival. Meanwhile, most important activity on this day is the paying of new year's visits to relatives, neighbor, friends, and even enemies. In the latter case, a few simple spoken words such as "Happy Spring Festival", can at least superficially dispel previous conflicts, since everything should be forgivable during the Spring Festival season. In some parts of the country, these new year's visits may start as early as five in the morning, while this current track carries a few of those happy greetings.
During Spring Festival, temple fairs become places of entertainment rather than pure business. Although these fairs are increasingly modernized, you can still find some interesting activities there, such as local operas, acrobatics, and snacks from all over the country. Let's have a listen to this tune "Go to the Temple Fair," which tells of the joy and fun that people can discover at these events.
Parades and various regional performance arts are commonly staged during Spring Festival, when they are usually arranged by local communities rather than professional troupes. In northern China, you may encounter parades of well-known operatic figures walking on stilts, whereas in the south, dragon or lion dances are more popular. The following folk song, "Spring Festival Celebration" describes a girl as she watches a dragon dance out on the street.
Of course, there are many other interesting Spring Festival traditions that remain in place to this day. Unfortunately, we're almost out of time, so we'll finish now with a very general song on this Chinese festival, simply entitled "We're Celebrating the Spring Festival". Hope you enjoy it, and from all of us here on In The Spotlight, we also hope that you enjoy the rest of your Spring Festival.