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Old and new customs for Chinese New Year
Thanks to fast developing technologies, firecrackers, The Rabbit God, the character for Fu, and other traditions that stood test of time in China are now evolving and flourishing to celebrate the traditional Chinese New Year.
Happy Virtual Chinese New Year, a popular new documentary on the Discovery Channel, introduces people in the United States to up-to-date customs in Beijing, Harbin, Hangzhou, and Taipei in four parts.
The Rabbit God, a traditional clay figurine, adds to the festive atmosphere. The newest version is even cuter than the traditional one and is being sold online to more families. To pass on this craft, the process of how to create a clay rabbit is also live streamed. As a symbol of peace, prosperity, and blessings, it has reached out to numerous families in China and abroad.
Winter fishing before the New Year is a thousand-year tradition in freezing cold northeast China, as having fish is a sign of prosperity. Years ago, parents generally made new clothes and shoes for their children and prepared food and window flowers at the end of the lunar month December in the warmth of family. Up to now, without travelling 400 miles, the newly caught fish can be sent back home through online ordering, which makes bigger and faster sales of the must-have food of family reunion dinner.
The Fu character on red square paper, meaning luck and fortune, has been enhanced with AR technology. Smartphone users can scan the Chinese character with Alipay, Alibaba Group’s solution to electronic payment, and collect five different cards of Fu to get a red envelope. While in Taipei, another creative celebration goes to the electronic firecracker, the 21st century replacement for the traditional firecracker.
Technologies like the internet, mobile payment, and AR are thriving in China and going out to the world, a number of senior producers said when they toured around China. The crossover of culture and technology is amazing according to foreign audiences. Chinese culture has won many likes and followers around the globe, and the amazing modern makeovers are well underway, adding charm and new definitions to the old customs.
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