Wednesday, February 06, 2008

新年快乐 - Happy New Year

新年快乐 Xian Nian Kuai Le - Festivities in Beijing

CCTV-9 today broadcast a spectacular Spring Festival Gala to welcome in the Chinese New Year of the Rat. Lasting some 4 hours the performances ranged from songs sung by well known Chinese stars and theatrical performances of the Peking Opera. In a finale the heroes of the Chinese space programme were celebrated for their achievements. There then followed a fireworks display. The televisual extravaganza is traditional enjoyed by families all over China and has been broadcast every year for the last two decades. Throughout the gala there was praise for the police and People’s Liberation Army who had helped millions return home through the harsh winter snow. Despite their best efforts and the upbeat reports on Chinese State media many were unable to make the journey home and had to remain in their factory dormitories. The year of the rat was welcomed in ancient times as a protector and bringer of material prosperity. It is the first of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The rat is associated with aggression, wealth, charm, and order, but is also associated with death, war, the occult, pestilence, and atrocities. One hope that 2008 is remembered for the positive attributes of this fluffy creature.

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