Year of the Dog Arrives with a Bite
This New Year was an unusually quiet one in downtown Beijing, as the ban on fireworks within the Fifth Ring Road took effect. Elsewhere though it was business as usual. A staggering 688 million people used WeChat to send or receive hongbao (red envelopes with gifts of money). In Hainan province, thousands were stuck for up to 30 hours waiting for a ferry back to the mainland, as heavy fog caused long delays. The CCTV New Year’s Gala, believed to be the most watched live television programme on earth, attracted controversy this year after a well-meaning skit about Africa included a Chinese actor “blacked up” to play a Kenyan woman. And over 3,000 Beijing residents celebrated the arrival of the Year of the Dog in hospital, after being bitten by a dog.
Chinese media have launched a new campaign, encouraging people to visit their mothers more often. National press agency Xinhua launched the campaign with a video showing career-obsessed young professionals working long hours and sleeping at their desks, before cutting to shots of lonely elderly women. By way of contrast, we then see President Xi walking hand-in-hand with his mother. Celebrities like Angelababy quickly followed suit, posting pictures of themselves with their moms. We at beijingkids are all in favor of bringing kids and parents together, so if your mother is too far away for a visit, why not give her a call? (And don’t forget dads need love too!)
Winter Olympic Baton Passes to Beijing
The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics took place last month, and Beijing was watching closely, with the city lined up to host the Games next in 2022. China finished with nine medals, including a gold in short track speed skating; something of a disappointment, after picking up three golds in 2014. No Beijing athletes medalled, with the majority of Chinese successes unsurprisingly coming from the chilly northern provinces of Liaoning and Heilongjiang. However, the government has invested billions of yuan in facilities and training, to ensure that there’ll be plenty of locally-born talent on show in four years’ time.
Ming with Bling in Dongcheng Hutong
Beijing’s newest tourist attraction is also one of its oldest. Zhihua Temple was built in 1444 during the Ming dynasty and has just reopened after extensive and sympathetic renovation. As well as some miraculously-preserved architecture and statues, there are performances of music on traditional instruments twice a day. The temple is located at 5 Lumicang Hutong, Dongcheng district.
Photos: Courtesy of the Beijinger, Pixabay
This article appeared on p6 of beijingkids March 2018 issue.