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Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Flower Ice Cream and Giant Hummingbird Mural in Hong Kong

Happy Fourth of July to the U.S. folk. Remember, fireworks don't work without fire. And rose-shaped ice cream attracts giant hummingbirds. Goodness can result from both of these things. But nothing is totally safe, so please take care and have a joyous day. Those giant hummingbirds are enchanting yet ravenous.

mural of a girl eating flower-shaped ice cream next to a large hummingbird
Alongside Shelley Street in Central, Hong Kong

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Nine Children Day Photos from Guangzhou

As in a number of other countries, June 1 is Children's Day in China. Children younger than 14 get the day off from class, which lead some parents to question why they aren't legally entitled to a day off too so they can spend it with their children. On that note, many schools arrange activities for the day.

Yesterday I saw signs of the holiday in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province. Despite it being a Friday, the activity level at some places felt more like a weekend. One movie theater lobby I passed was packed with excited children — likely due to discounts or a school outing.

Below are a handful of photos I took yesterday. I can't say each and every scene is directly connected to the holiday, but they all definitely include children.

dance performance by boys
Dance performance at Sunny Mall


kiddie play area at mall
Busy children's amusement center at Sunny Mall


air hockey game
Air hockey at an arcade in the JN Sunday underground pedestrian shopping street


children making pizzas at The Pizza Factory in Guangzhou
Pizza-making party at The Pizza Factory in the Icon City shopping mall


woman and girl walking down Gaodi Street in Guangzhou
On Gaodi Street


girl posing in front of a sculpture for a photo
Photographic opportunity at Shangxiajiu Square


one girl lifting up another onto her back
Lifting up a twin sister at Shangxiajiu Square


girl giving another girl a piggyback ride
A piggyback ride underway


two children debating who should get a stroller
A (potential) learning moment for a boy who had tried to hijack a baby stroller

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Working, Not Working, Traffic, and Sales: A Few Labor Day Scenes in Zhaoqing, China

Today was Labor Day (May Day) in China. And today I was in Zhaoqing, a prefecture-level city which borders my previous locations — Yunfu and Jiangmen.

As I have seen during past Labor Days elsewhere in China, today . . .

Some people worked.

Paifang Plaza


Some people enjoyed their day off work or school.

yellow bridge at Paifang Park in Zhaoqing
Paifang Park


Some people sat in traffic.

heavy traffic on Duanzhou 4th Road in Zhaoqing
Duanzhou 4th Road


And some stores had holiday promotions.

Jessy Line's International Worker's Day sale sign


Zhaoqing is a popular tourist destination in the region, and the increased crowds (and hotel rates) were easy to spot during the three day holiday period. More about Zhaoqing later after I first return to posting about Yunfu. For more Labor Day photos, see past years' posts featuring scenes in Shenzhen and in Yinchuan

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Knockoffs, Cars, and an Electric Chair: Paper Replicas to Burn for the Qingming Festival

store selling paper replicas of items to burn for the Qingming Festival
Shop in Jiangmen, Guangdong, selling paper replicas to burn for the spirit world


Last year in Guangzhou during the Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day, I saw many people spend at least part of the day doing something not part of the spiritual side of the day, such as spending time at pedestrian shopping street. But it still wasn't hard to find people observing the holiday, such as a family burning paper replicas of iPhones, clothing, money, and other objects to send to their ancestors in the afterlife — part of a common Qingming tradition, as is visiting grave sites.

Like in Guangzhou, today on the holiday's return I saw many people in Jiangmen simply enjoying the day off or working as usual. I didn't happen to stumble upon any burnings. And I didn't visit any graveyards. But this afternoon I did pass one shop selling paper replicas to burn. They may have already sold out of some items, but they still had a varied selection.

As I saw in Guangzhou, there was clothing for sale. And of course there was plenty of the traditional ghost money.

ghost money and paper replicas of suits


Shoes were available as well.

paper shoes


You were in luck if you wanted to send shoes with a matching knockoff "Louiis Vuitton" bag.

paper "Louiis Vuitton" bags


There were also combo packs which included all-important smartphones.

boxes contain a variety of paper replicas including smartphones and jewelry


And a collection of cars was available.

paper replicas of cars


paper replicas of cars for the Qingming Festival


The cars depict people inside, which raises the question of whether burning them sends both the car and the people to the spirit world. I would honestly be curious to hear experts' views on this.

While there are other ways people remember and honor their ancestors during the Qingming Festival, the practice of burning paper replicas presents an intriguing intersection of spiritualism, materialism, and pragmatism. Whatever the ultimate result of the offerings, at the very least they express that one hasn't forgotten the departed and can help keep some memories alive.

Finally, there was one item for sale that left me briefly puzzled, because at first I wasn't sure what it was. And then I realized . . .

paper replicas of a massage armchair


Who in the spirit world wouldn't want to relax in a deluxe massage chair?

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Return to the New Year

The day after International Women's Day many of the related promotions at stores and restaurants were over, though some continued. For Topsports, that meant a return to the "Happy New Year" spirit, even though 2018 began two and half months ago and the current Year of the Dog began almost a month ago.

2018 Happy New Year sign at Topsports in Jiangmen


 May Day is just so far away . . .

Friday, March 9, 2018

Food, Shoes, and Jewelry: International Women's Day Sales Promotions in Jiangmen, China

In past year's I have shared some of the International Women's Day sales promotions I have come across in Zhongshan, in Jieyang, and in Guangzhou. At the moment I happen to be in Jiangmen —another city in Guangdong province. So yesterday I spent some time walking through several shopping malls and nearby shopping areas in the city. There was no shortage of promotions for the holiday, though many stores had no sales or had unrelated sales, including lingering Lunar New Year promotions.

As in past years, one noticeable aspect of the promotions were the various names used to identify the day. Yet I didn't see a single example where the standard Chinese translation for International Women's Day, 妇女节, was used. Instead, Chinese names which would translate as "Goddess Day" (女神) and "Queen's Day" (女王) were common. Some places went with "女人节" which could also translate to "Women's Day" in English. And a number of stores included the day's name in English, often going with "Queen's Day" or "Women's Day".

Chen Yan in Sixth Tone mentions a possible explanation for why the formal name in Chinese was avoided:
More and more young Chinese women are shunning International Women’s Day, a problem that is partially due to nomenclature. Women’s Day is translated as funüjie, a word that contains a term that youngsters increasingly use to refer to older, married women and that connotes a certain frumpiness and a lack of sophistication.
That still might not fully explain the choice of Watson's — a health & beauty care chain store. They went with "我们节" which could be translated as "Our Day", seemingly quite a big difference in meaning. But there's a catch. Written in pinyin, the first two characters are "Wo men".

Watsons Women's Day promotion


Just to be sure, I asked an employee and she confirmed that indeed "Wo Men's Day" referred to International Women's Day and was a cross-language pun. At the very least, it strikes me as a curious choice.

Whatever name stores settled on, the promotions went on.

So if you were seeking a Women's Day special for Californian-style food in Jiangmen yesterday, you were in luck.

Hey Farm restaurant Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Other Western-style food options were available as well.

Seasons restaurant Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Seeking something Asian? Well, there was Thai.

Thai restaurant Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


And if you wanted Yunnan-style, there were options as well.

Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Baked goods? No problem.

Madeli bakery Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen



Some tea? Loving Tea beckoned the goddesses.

Loving Tea Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Shiny Tea did as well.

Shiny Tea Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Seeking something simple and healthy? There was a fruit store that didn't miss out on the day.

Fruit store Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


There were many options for clothing.

YMR clothing store Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

G2000 Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

OU Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Shoes and hand bags were on sale too.

Losiny Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Losiny Queen's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Dusto Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

ZuSOON Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Topsports Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Glasses? No problem.

Loho Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Along with a number of other jewelry stores, both China Gold and Hong Kong Gold had promotions.

China Gold Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Hong Kong Gold Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Seeking health & beauty care products without a "Wo Men" theme? Mannings, a chain similar to Watsons, went with the more typical "Queen's Day".

Manning's Queen Day promotion in Jiangmen


And, yes, you could go to the supermarket for some Goddess Day savings.

Vanguard Empress Day promotion in Jiangmen


Finally, while several nail salons I passed didn't have a promotion for the day, IMP Nails was ready for Queen's Day.

IMP Nails Queen Day promotion in Jiangmen


So finding an International Women's Day deal in Jiangmen, and elsewhere in China, wasn't at all hard yesterday. But not everybody in China thought that was a good thing. And so on International Women's Day, some feminists who criticized how the day was observed were censored.

The promotions went on though.

Friday, March 2, 2018

A Resting Red Lion Head in Jiangmen

The end of the Lunar New Year holiday period means less work for dancing lions.

head of a red traditional Chinese lion costume


For this blog, it marks an imminent return to some old topics and more writing. And while there aren't any lions in store for the near future, a friendly bear might make an appearance.

Monday, February 26, 2018

New Year and Love at the Musa Club in Jiangmen

I have shared examples of how the close proximity of Valentine's Day and the Lunar New Year has had an impact this year, whether at a shopping mall in Taipei or a fair in Macau. I recently saw yet another example at a club in Jiangmen, Guangdong.

Musa Club in Jiangmen


Two signs made it clear that both holidays were in consideration for their celebrations February 14-16.





And, of course, there was recognition it would soon be the Year of the Dog.