1, When China Turns Red In The Year Of The Pig

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A child swings together with a pig-shaped toy in Suixian county, Central China’s Henan Province. In Chinese lunar calendar, 2019 is the Year of the Pig.  From red lanterns to red envelopes, red is the official color of the New Year.   People also wear red clothes, which symbolizes fortune and luck.   The population of the People’s Republic of China is about 1.4 billion and the population of overseas Chinese is over 50 million, so a reasonable estimate of the number of people celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year in the world is about 1.45 billion.

2,Shining, Shimmering and Splendid: A Dance In A Shower of Molten Iron Sparks

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Performers take part in a fire dragon dance under a shower of molten iron sparks on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Pig, in Zaozhuang, Shandong Province, China.  This sensational performance named Dashuhua is a 500-year-old tradition in which blacksmiths sprinkle molten iron near the town’s high wall, creating a firework-like spray. The performance is extremely dangerous as the molten metal reaches a temperature of over 1,600 degrees Celsius. To protect themselves from the flying shards, the blacksmiths wear sheep fur and straw hat. 

3, Heading Home: China’s Lunar New Year Sees World’s Largest Annual Migration

 

 

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An adult pushes his luggage, a child atop, while walking around the north square of Beijing West Railway station. The little girl and the caregiver represent just two of the nearly 3 billion trips scheduled to occur during 40-day the 2019 Chinese New Year travel rush.  Family reunion is the theme of  this festive season, therefore the whole country is on the move as city-dwellers getting on trains, boats, planes and motorbikes to go home. This spectacular large-scale and long-time annual travel rush been called the largest annual human migration in the world. Thanks to fast developing infrastructure, this homeward march is much quicker for many people. The total length of China’s high-speed railway is 25 thousand kilometers. That’s more than 60 percent of the global total. With the newly launched facial recognition check-in service, travelers can swiftly enter the train stations by scanning their faces and ID cards. The whole process takes a mere four seconds. 

4, Highlight Of The Spring Festival Gala: Incredible Performance From Kungfu Students

 

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These teenage students from Henan Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School stunned the world at this year’s Spring Festival Gala hosted by China Central Television (CCTV).  Their 4-minute performance was titled “The Soul of Shaolin,” which refers to one of the most famous styles of  martial arts originated and developed in the Shaolin Temple in China’s Henan Province during its 1500-year history.  In this dazzling performance, the boys perfectly demonstrated their power and accuracy in the pulling off all incredible jaw-dropping moves while following the background music. If you ask a Chinese what Chinese New Year essentials are? The answer would probably be fireworks, dumplings, alcohol, and, of course, the Spring Festival Gala. The televised event is one of the world’s most watched live shows. It remains a tradition for many Chinese around the world to have dinner with the family and watch leading celebrities showcasing their best. This year, the Year of the Pig gala attracted a 1.2 billion viewers worldwide, according Chinese authorities. An estimated 621 million people watched the show on television, while the rest tuned in from other channels including smart-phones and computers. The Gala has the largest audience of any entertainment show in the world, and is recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s most watched television program.

5, Love Overload:Netizens Post Pics of Their Car Trunks Packed Full by Their Parents

 

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From homegrown produce to homemade delicacies, Chinese netizens show off on social media their car trunks filled entirely by their parents after Chinese New Year family reunions.  Since most young people will return to big cities to work, parents prepared them with loads of local specialities.  One netizen puts it, “I carry more things with me when leaving than what I bring to my parents’ home.” Another one comments, “I laughed when I see the photos and then cried.” 

6, New School, New Eyes

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Plastic Surgery becomes the Newest Back-to-School Necessity

Big eyes, high-bridged nose, cherry lips, sharp chin… a surgically sculpted face is popular among many young Chinese. The country’s “post 00” generation — those born after 2000 — has already internalized that appearance is key to succeed in job hunting and dating. Fueled by the desire to take good selfies and emulate celebrities, they turn to plastic surgery at increasingly younger ages.  School holidays, especially the holidays after the university entrance exams, are considered golden time to conduct the surgery since many want a new start in universities. A prediction from an industry body shows that the market would be worth 800 billion RMB this year. 

7, Celebrating 105th Birthday—-Chinese Life Expectancy Goes Up And An Aging Problem Emerges

 

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Centenarian Feng Baini (L) poses for a selfie with her granddaughter (R) and great-granddaughter(M) at Dongniu Village of Shijiazhuang, capital of North China’s Hebei Province. The lady celebrated her 105th birthday with families during the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays. According to WHO data published in 2018, China’s life expectancy has gone up to 76.4.  While Chinese people live longer, the country is getting older. By 2050, 330 million Chinese will be over age 65. An aging Chinese society is a challenge for the world’s second largest economy and will definitely impact those around the world who rely on it. 

8, Preserving The Culture: Chinese Ethnic Minority People Revitalize Their Traditions

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People of Dong ethnic group perform during the Spring Festival holiday in Dingdong Village of Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China’s Guizhou Province. The dance and singing honors the coming of spring and can date back thousands of years. Nowadays these celebrations have been revitalized to preserve the unique culture and boost tourism. 

9, WeChat Merchandizing: China’s Organic Farmers Thrive With E-Commerce

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As well as tending to the farm, Ren Yingying and her husband snap shots and post them on their WeChat every day. They update everything happens in their farm with their social media followers and respond to orders and queries, and arrange deliveries via WeChat. Their Love Village is one of many small-scale farms trying to exploit the direct-to-consumer model facilitated by the internet.  Organic farming in China is benefiting from the online shopping boom. The country now ranks the third largest amount of organic farmland in the world, behind only Australia and Argentina.

10, The Rise of The Hobbyist: Turning Passions Into Business With The Help of The Internet

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Xu Caihong arranges succulent plants at a greenhouse in Luanzhou City, north China’s Hebei Province. The lady fell in love with these plants and began her succulent growing in 2016 at home.  After three years of efforts, she has three greenhouses and an expanding business. The New Year holidays and the Valentine’s Day generate huge demand for her succulent plants. By promoting both online and off-line sales, the annual sales of her business has reached RMB 1 million, or about AUD200, 000. 

11,The Year Of The Pig? No, Every Year Is The Year Of The Dog

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Imported food and toys, massage and bathing care, and scheduled social events… these treats are not for kids, but the pets. In China, pets are extremely popular among the 90s and 20s. Unlike their parents’ generation who regarded animals mainly as a functional tools to guard the house, young people see them as  loving companions. It is estimated that the number of pet dogs and cats is over 91 million in China while spending on pets is over RMB 170 billion, or AUD 34 billion, in 2018.

(Content edited from VCG.com,news.cn, newscctv.net)

Edited by Lei Zhang