Peachwood Charms — Spring Festival Custom Show of Beijing and Shanghai
February 2, 2016 - February 29, 2016 Spring Herb Room, Lou Lim Ieoc Garden, Macao, China
——Exhibition Overview——

More than three thousand years ago, the construction of the capital of Yan in the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BCE) began in the area that now forms today's Fangshan District in Beijing, marking the beginning of the city's development. After experiencing many vicissitudes from the Warring States Period to the Liao Dynasty, it had been transformed from merely being an important city in the north into "Nanjing", the second capital of the Liao Dynasty (907-1125) founded by the Khitan ethnic minority. In 1153, the capital of the Jin Dynasty was moved to Beijing, and it was renamed as Zhongdu City. Thereafter, Beijing remained the capital of various feudal dynasties, known as Yuandadu in the Yuan Dynasty and Beijing during the Ming and Qing dynasties. In such a city inhabited by both emperors and common people, a unique cultural phenomenon of integrating rules and regulations into daily life and customs gradually took shape. As a result, people in Beijing pay special attention to following the rules of life, reflected in a series of folk activities lasting for more than a month during the Spring Festival.

Unit 1 Spring Festival in Beijing

"Spring Festival" originally referred to the first day of the first month under the lunar calendar; however, people in Beijing often start to prepare and celebrate as early as the 8th day of the 12thlunar month. Activities included boiling Laba porridge, offering sacrifices to the kitchen god, staying up late on New Year's Eve to celebrate, paying new year calls, holding memorial rites, worshiping the god of wealth and visiting temple fairs. The Spring Festival ends with the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the first lunar month. Those people who have worked hard for a year, perhaps in distant places, are finally reunited with their families, joining with relatives and friends to pray to the gods for good luck in the coming year.

Unit 2 Tradition and Fashion

After the long passage of time, the Forbidden City, home of the emperors with its red walls and yellow tiles, still stands in Beijing, a city that has seen numerous generations formed in the Hutongs (communities built around alleyways). Urban planning in Beijing is still based on the central axis of the city established in the Ming and Qing Dynasties and extending out from the Forbidden City. As the capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing is becoming a world city welcoming people from all countries. Tradition and fashion coexist here, manifesting its cultural inclusiveness.

——Exhibition Objects——
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