Chinese New Year and Spring Festival are the most important holidays in China, and it’s a special time when most people have work off to travel back to their hometowns. Since WildChina is a diverse, international team, we thought you might like to see what we get up to over the holiday. So, we’ve picked out some of our favorite Spring Festival stories.
M.J. – Senior Client Manager, WildChina Events
I went back to my village in Anyang known as Xizhang and I took Robin (part of WildChina’s Educational travel team) with me. The first day, we had dinner with my school friends and we ate and drank a LOT. The next day we visited all my relatives on my father and mother’s side, and again, there was a lot of drinking and eating. Then, we spent the rest of the week visiting the seven or eight temples that surround my hometown and at each one, we burned special yellow or silver paper that symbolizes money. We also went to my ancestor’s tombs with my whole extended family – around 20 people. We took food to the tombs to show respect. On a funny note, a new 5-star club opened in my little village, and a foreign DJ was invited to play the opening night. Imagine that in a little Chinese village!
Robin – Senior Program Manager, WildChina Education
I’ve lived in China for a while but never had such an authentic experience as going to M.J.’s village. Chinese New Year traditions are even stronger out in the countryside, and everyday there are certain traditions that you have to uphold. The first day we visited all the temples around the village, and at every one we lit firecrackers and incense. In the evening we ate hot pot with his immediate family and watched the big Chinese New Year show, on the television. People would get up from the table to watch a particular part of the show that they particularly liked. That night, the whole village was lighting fireworks in all the courtyards – it was incredible. I learned that each village in China has its own traditions. Going to the family tombs, bowing to the ancestors, and lighting fireworks was a very interesting spiritual moment.
Aki – Marketing Manager, Beshan
I traveled to Hangzhou because it is my husband’s hometown. We had a family lunch with my husband’s relatives near West Lake and had the most beautiful view of the famous lake. The next day we went to Lingyin Temple because his family goes there every year to pray for a good year ahead and thank the Buddha for the good tidings that the previous year held. The temple was super crowded, but luckily we knew a backdoor through the Aman Fayun hotel. During Spring Festival, Hangzhou was quite empty because most people were back home celebrating with their family. It was a nice time visit because usually the city draws a lot of visitors from other cities.
Interested in the stellar views of West Lake that Aki got to see with her family? Let’s plan your trip to Hangzhou!
Kassy – Digital Marketing and Social Media Specialist, WildChina
I went to Vietnam with several of my expat friends from Beijing. We went on a 6-day biking tour where we got to be completely immersed in the history, culture, and natural beauty of the country. Like China, Vietnam celebrates the Lunar New Year which they call Tết Nguyên Đán. Each night in the cities we passed through the streets were filled with people singing raucous karaoke on loud speakers and children playing carnival games. Throughout our bike ride, we’d stop at temples and other sights of Vietnam. On a sobering note, we also visited My Lai Village where one of the worst atrocities of the Vietnam-American War happened. This left a lasting impact on me.
All of us here at WildChina wish you a happy and prosperous Year of the Dog and we look forward to helping you plan your perfect journey in 2018!
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