Pittoresque pavilions can be seen at many travel sites in China.


there's a famous poem in Song dynasty:
old road, western wind, thin horse;
little bridge, flowing water, human habitation



Far and near

Did you have this kind of experience? you travelled in another city, another country, and are familiar with the folks, streets, stores, scenes, foods there, but while a friend from far away come to your home, you need tour him around as a host, you find you know little about the wonderful shopping place, special snacks around.

You think you'll have time for the thing nearby, then you never get the time.

Last week, I hear some people were discussing about the mutton, I asked where it is, and are there some restaurants. There're many authentic restaurant for mutton on that road, where I often visited. I've never been there in past years since I moved here. and when I missed the delicious food, I went back to hangzhou, another city.

Dragon Boat Festival

Sticky rice and dragon boat are two symbols of this festival.

The Dragon Boat Festival, the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, has had a history of more than 2,000 years. It is usually in June in the Gregorian calendar.

There are many legends about the evolution of the festival, the most popular of which is in commemoration of Qu Yuan (340-278 BC). Qu Yuan was minister of the State of Chu and one of China's earliest poets. In face of great pressure from the powerful Qin State, he advocated enriching the country and strengthening its military forces so as to fight against the Qin. However, he was opposed by aristocrats headed by Zi Lan, and later deposed and exiled by King Huai. In his exiled days, he still cared much for his country and people and composed immortal poems including Li Sao (The Lament), Tian Wen (Heavenly Questions) and Jiu Ge (Nine Songs), which had far-reaching influences. In 278 BC, he heard the news that Qin troops had finally conquered Chu's capital, so he finished his last piece Huai Sha (Embracing Sand) and plunged himself into the Miluo River, clasping his arms to a large stone. The day happened to be the 5th of the 5th month in the Chinese lunar calendar. After his death, the people of Chu crowded to the bank of the river to pay their respects to him. The fishermen sailed their boats up and down the river to look for his body. People threw into the water zongzi (pyramid-shaped glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in reed or bamboo leaves) and eggs to divert possible fish or shrimp from attacking his body. An old doctor poured a jug of reaglar wine (Chinese liquor seasoned with realgar) into the water, hoping to turn all aquatic beasts drunk. That's why people later followed the customs such as dragon boat racing, eating zongzi and drinking realgar wine on that day.

Dragon boat racing is an indispensable part of the festival, held all over the country. As the gun is fired, people will see racers in dragon-shaped canoes pulling the oars harmoniously and hurriedly, accompanied by rapid drums, speeding toward their destination. Folk tales say the game originates from the activities of seeking Qu Yuan's body, but experts, after painstaking and meticulous research, conclude that dragon boat racing is a semi-religious, semi-entertaining program from the Warring States Period (475-221 BC). In the following thousands of years, the game spread to Japan, Vietnam and Britain as well as China's Taiwan and Hong Kong. Now dragon boat racing has developed into an aquatic sports item which features both Chinese tradition and modern sporting spirit. In 1980, it was listed into the state sports competition programs and has since been held every year. The award is called "Qu Yuan Cup."

Zongzi is an essential food of the Dragon Boat Festival. It is said that people ate them in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). In early times, it was only glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in reed or other plant leaves and tied with colored thread, but now the fillings are more diversified, including jujube and bean paste, fresh meat, and ham and egg yolk. If time permits, people will soak glutinous rice, wash reed leaves and wrap up zongzi themselves. Otherwise, they will go to shops to buy whatever stuff they want. The custom of eating zongzi is now popular in North and South Korea, Japan and Southeast Asian nations.

On Dragon Boat Festival, parents also need to dress their children up with a perfume pouch. They first sew little bags with colorful silk cloth, then fill the bags with perfumes or herbal medicines, and finally string them with silk threads. The perfume pouch will be hung around the neck or tied to the front of a garment as an ornament. They are said to be able to ward off evil.

Chingming Festival

Ching Ming (Qingming), Tomb-Sweeping Day, All Souls' Day
Ancestor worship is a Chinese tradition dating back thousands of years.
Also known as the Grave-sweeping or Spring Remembrance, Ching Ming ("clear and bright"), is when Chinese families show their respect by visiting the graves of their ancestors to clear away weeds, touch up gravestone inscriptions and make offerings of wine and fruit.

A Tang Dynastie's poem: rainy in ChingMing Day, heartbroken is the passerby one the road. (清明时节雨纷纷, 路上行人欲断肠)

Qingming Festival

The Qingming (Pure Brightness) Festival is one of the 24 seasonal division points in China, falling on April 4-6 each year. After the festival, the temperature will rise up and rainfall increases. It is the high time for spring plowing and sowing. But the Qingming Festival is not only a seasonal point to guide farm work, it is more a festival of commemoration.

The Qingming Festival sees a combination of sadness and happiness.

This is the most important day of sacrifice. Both the Han and minority ethnic groups at this time offer sacrifices to their ancestors and sweep the tombs of the diseased. Also, they will not cook on this day and only cold food is served.

The Hanshi (Cold Food) Festival was usually one day before the Qingming Festival. As our ancestors often extended the day to the Qingming, they were later combined.

On each Qingming Festival, all cemeteries are crowded with people who came to sweep tombs and offer sacrifices. Traffic on the way to the cemeteries becomes extremely jammed. The customs have been greatly simplified today. After slightly sweeping the tombs, people offer food, flowers and favorites of the dead, then burn incense and paper money and bow before the memorial tablet.

In contrast to the sadness of the tomb sweepers, people also enjoy hope of Spring on this day. The Qingming Festival is a time when the sun shines brightly, the trees and grass become green and nature is again lively. Since ancient times, people have followed the custom of Spring outings. At this time tourists are everywhere.

People love to fly kites during the Qingming Festival. Kite flying is actually not limited to the Qingming Festival. Its uniqueness lies in that people fly kites not during the day, but also at night. A string of little lanterns tied onto the kite or the thread look like shining stars, and therefore, are called "god's lanterns."

The Qingming Festival is also a time to plant trees, for the survival rate of saplings is high and trees grow fast later. In the past, the Qingming Festival was called "Arbor Day". But since 1979, "Arbor Day" was settled as March 12 according to the Gregorian calendar.

Mid-Autumn Festival

Folks like creating stories, it's said there're laurel tree, a rabbit, a lady in the moon. Following is the story of the festival. ChangE is a greedy woman in the story I heard before, so I like this one, where she is a kind-hearted one.

At that night, we have the habit to eat moon-cake, get family together, it's the 2nd important family day in China, another one is the Chinese New year's Eve.

There're many poems about this festival. A famous one is written by the famous poet Li Bai: raise my head to look at the moon, lower my head to miss the hometown.(举头望明月, 低头思故乡)

Additionally, Chang E is now the name of Chinese satellite on board to the moon we recently sent to the space. Have a look at the storyof the one it's named after.

The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, usually in October in Gregorian calendar.

The festival has a long history. In ancient China, emperors followed the rite of offering sacrifices to the sun in spring and to the moon in autumn. Historical books of the Zhou Dynasty had had the word "Mid-Autumn". Later aristocrats and literary figures helped expand the ceremony to common people. They enjoyed the full, bright moon on that day, worshipped it and expressed their thoughts and feelings under it. By the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Mid-Autumn Festival had been fixed, which became even grander in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). In the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, it grew to be a major festival of China.

Folklore about the origin of the festival go like this: In remote antiquity, there were ten suns rising in the sky, which scorched all crops and drove people into dire poverty. A hero named Hou Yi was much worried about this, he ascended to the top of the Kunlun Mountain and, directing his superhuman strength to full extent, drew his extraordinary bow and shot down the nine superfluous suns one after another. He also ordered the last sun to rise and set according to time. For this reason, he was respected and loved by the people and lots of people of ideals and integrity came to him to learn martial arts from him. A person named Peng Meng lurked in them.

Hou Yi had a beautiful and kindhearted wife named Chang E. One day on his way to the Kunlun Mountain to call on friends, he ran upon the Empress of Heaven Wangmu who was passing by. Empress Wangmu presented to him a parcel of elixir, by taking which, it was said, one would ascend immediately to heaven and become a celestial being. Hou Yi, however, hated to part with his wife. So he gave the elixir to Chang E to treasure for the time being. Chang E hid the parcel in a treasure box at her dressing table when, unexpectedly, it was seen by Peng Meng.

One day when Hou Yi led his disciples to go hunting, Peng Meng, sword in hand, rushed into the inner chamber and forced Chang E to hand over the elixir. Aware that she was unable to defeat Peng Meng, Chang E made a prompt decision at that critical moment. She turned round to open her treasure box, took up the elixir and swallowed it in one gulp. As soon as she swallowed the elixir her body floated off the ground, dashed out of the window and flew towards heaven. Peng Meng escaped.

When Hou Yi returned home at dark, he knew from the maidservants what had happened. Overcome with grief, Hou Yi looked up into the night sky and called out the name of his beloved wife when, to his surprise, he found that the moon was especially clear and bight and on it there was a swaying shadow that was exactly like his wife. He tried his best to chase after the moon. But as he ran, the moon retreated; as he withdrew, the moon came back. He could not get to the moon at all.

Thinking of his wife day and night, Hou Yi then had an incense table arranged in the back garden that Chang E loved. Putting on the table sweetmeats and fresh fruits Chang E enjoyed most, Hou Yi held at a distance a memorial ceremony for Chang E who was sentimentally attached to him in the palace of the moon.

When people heard of the story that Chang E had turned into a celestial being, they arranged the incense table in the moonlight one after another and prayed kindhearted Chang E for good fortune and peace. From then on the custom of worshiping the moon spread among the people.

People in different places follow various customs, but all show their love and longing for a better life. Today people will enjoy the full moon and eat moon cakes on that day.

The moon looks extremely round, big and bright on the 15th day of each lunar month. People selected the August 15 to celebrate because it is a season when crops and fruits are all ripe and weather pleasant. On the Mid-Autumn Festival, all family members or friends meet outside, putting food on tables and looking up at the sky while talking about life. How splendid a moment it is!

New year

Here we get one more day for country-wide holidays, now we have 11 days. The long holidays around Labor's day(May.1) will no longer exist according to the goverment's annoucement. Instead, we get one day holiday in several traditional Chinese festivals: Mid-Autumn Festival (ちゅうしゅう), Dragon Boat Festival (たんご),Ching Ming Festival(せいめい), I'd like to introduce some infomation for these festivals later

Below is a chair I would like to have in the new year.

A very beautiful cany Chair.



Toy City AD.

bears and deers

Christmas is coming, bears and deers also come as gifts and shopping decoration.


Games played in Chinese childhood - fly a kite

In the hall of Washington Space Museum, U.S.A , there's a Chinese kite, following words can be found on the lable besides it: The earliest flight thing are Chinese kite and missile.

Kites can be made of silk, or paper. The simpliest kite I ever made --- actually my father made it to me, is the tile kite, use two bamboo sticks, crossed, paste with a square paper. We climbed up the moutain to fly it at that time. But later in my college life, I found the kites from Shandong province, also very simple, red eagle made of flimsy cotton paper. It can fly up very easy. I ever flied two rolls of the lines, it flied up into the sky until I can't see it .

Weifang in Shandong is a place famouse of the good kite, there's an annual kite festival and a kite museum in Weifang. Take a look at the beautiful kites from there, including some large kites. I'm surprised at these large kites:)

108 heros (from Chinese anciant novel, ShuiHu legend. Die Räuber vom Liang Schan Moor)

the Eight Diagrams with long tails

Related posting:

Games played in Chinese childhood - rolling the iron hoop
Games played in Chinese childhood - Blowing Soap Bubble
Games played in Chinese childhood - Playing with mud
Games played in Chinese childhood - fold and fly the paper plane
Games played in Chinese childhood - catch worms

Games played in Chinese childhood - catch worms

emm, Catching the fireflies, put them into a bottle, usually a vitamin bottle, very beautiful in the night.

Have you ever eaten worms? I remember in my childhood, late 1970s, early 1980s, our country were still implementing planned economy, the open and revolution policy not applied yet, the supply of many goods are limited, even we have money, we can't buy them. At that time, we don't have a lot of different things to eat, or not enough to eat. So to catch the worm, like cicada, mantis, vespid, one cause is for fun, another cause is for appetite: put them on the fire, ate them.

I did not try eating any of them. I like the beautiful color of mantis' wings.

Nowadays, worms are also a kind of fashion meal in some restaurant, Cantonese like them very much. I know some Shanghai restaurant also provide some of them.

Worms have high protein and low fat.

Here I also would like to introduce a famouse Chinese traditional medicine, produced in south west China, recorded in the ancient Chinese medicine book "Ben Cao Gang Mu". It's called winter-worm-summer-plant, in the winter, it will be a worm, dig into the earth; in the summer, it will be a plant, grow up. It's good for lung and kidney. In 1980s, the best product of worm-plant costs about 400 RMB/KG, last year, it costed about 25,000 RMB /KG, now, the normal price is 50,000 RMB/KG, and the best one will need more than 100,000 RMB/KG, 250 times increased in 20 years.

Related posting:

Games played in Chinese childhood - rolling the iron hoop
Games played in Chinese childhood - Blowing Soap Bubble
Games played in Chinese childhood - Playing with mud
Games played in Chinese childhood - fold and fly the paper plane


what is home

a place make you feel relax, comfortable, safe, peace

The public service

Today I read a public letter written by the people live near the one I lived. They talked about many problems in their living place caused by the real estate development and management.
I felt very sympathy. Everytime I went by their quater, it looked noisy, dirty, messy.

It's a letter written before Aug., to the mayor. And the problems in front of their gate did not solved until last month, not sure whether the problems inside solved.

The changes of the industry

a TV play talking about the dyehouse in 1930s China ended with this words:"before the times change, people are powerless."

In recent years, merging and layoff happened frequently in hi-tech companies. Many employees felt the career crisis. but how can they do?

I remember an IT engineer commented on the technology development, yes, new tech provide new solution and inscrease the work effciency, but the people who raise the requirement will ask more function after that, never will they be satisfied

Where is the man

a sigh caused by so many beauties around can't find a good man to marry.
live singly is not easy, girls become stronger, then more difficult can they find a proper one.


A Small family business owner

A family sells vegetables at the corner of the road. Since most of the store keepers around are the owner of the house, so when he mentioned that tomorrow he will bring more kinds of tools, I asked he whether lived here or not, he said no, he is from Caton, and rent the store room here.

When he opened the plastic bag, I noticed that one of his hands was lost. Before that, he tried to hide them in his sleeve.

and slowly he told that he held a small business in Canton, but unfortunately he lost his hand when producing. Because many relatives live here, so his family came to see whether they can open a vegetables store here.

Then he said, "don't know how hard the life is."

though sighing like that, they did not sit there, but continue looking for the way to live.


catch a cold for a week.

every morning when I wake up, I thought I have escaped from the cold, every night, I coughed and wonderred when the cold will leave me away.


The first civil airplane

The first civil airplane created and made by Chinese will be online and available to passengers in 2009. Exciting news.

four parts of it was producted seperately in Chengdu, Shanghai, Shenyang, Xi'an. The first one is on the way to get certification of passage domestically and internationally

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job

It's a book being hotly sold in Amazon, written by Patrick Lencioni.

according to this book, 3 factors of the job make you feel uncomfortable even sufferred.

1. no one cares your work
2. can't measure: you don't know whether you do well or not
3. feeling like it doesn't matter however you did.

As for me, the environment is the most important. There're stupid managers everywhere, no one can be perfect, it doesn't matter much, but when stupid met cold heart, sufferring happen.

Environment problem

HRH The Prince of Wales wrote an article about some news of the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change. following are some data included in his article.

The Ice and Snow Data Centre predicted, the polar ice will disappear in the summer in 7 to 23 years, which means the earth can't reflect the solar heat as much as before, then the temperature will rise worldwidely.

Stop deforesting tropical rain forest is important, they gave out 20% Treibhausgas, quantity is the top second, just after power industry.