January 31, 2019

Chinese New Year 3—Joy

Kids skated on ice without the need of skates.

All they need is a simple sledge.

Mr Zhao watches the kids play, and think back to his own childhood.

The second day of CNY.

Brunch is dumplings.

A fire pan with charcoal is an essential household item in winter.

It’s multi-functional: air-conditioning for the room, hand warmer, and barbecue grill.

You can use it to grill corn, sweet potatoes, and potatoes.

CNY eves are spent with family, while the days after that are spent visiting relatives and friends.

Mr Zhao visits an old friend, Mr Zhang, who brings out peanuts and sunflower seeds and sweets.

On the heated kang, over tea and sunflower seeds, they discuss the plan to stage a yangge performance.

Mrs Zhang prepares multiple dishes for their guest. It’s not an exaggeration to say that you can gain about 2-10 kg during the CNY season.

Kids sneak into the house, lured over by the aromas of food.

腌菜心 sour cabbage

疙瘩汤 dough drop soup with vegetables

萨琪玛 Sachima

They are playing a game of shagai, with bones taken from the ankle of a goat or sheep.

You toss a cloth bag into the air, and turn the bones on four different sides before the bag lands, and then catch the cloth bag with the same hand.

The kids’ snacks are not limited to Sachima.

Frozen pears and persimmons.

While the kids play, adults are rehearsing for the yangge dance.

There are over forty members in this dance troupe.

After hours of rehearsal, a big bowl of stewed pork with vermicelli gives them renewed energy.

秧歌, the “rice sprout song”, is a regional folk dance. Performers dress up in colourful costumes, use props like waist drums or dancing fans, accompanied by the sound of drums and cymbals.

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One out of 1.4 billion voices.

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