Beijing, CHINA – China celebrates its Lunar New Year tomorrow, with some changes.
Chinese New Year has a tradition of colorful and noisy fireworks displays, and huge banquets. This year, the festivities are a little more conservative due to a new stance on waste.
The Chinese Year of the Snake, 2013, is one of the less popular zodiac signs that lacks the marketing power of, say, the infamous dragon. Merchandisers tried to dress up stuffed snakes to be more goofy, but it isn’t working because customers are still scared of them. And let’s not mention the 13 on the end.
The Chinese public has been asked to reduce their fireworks in Beijing to reduce pollution, and government officials and state-owned companies are canceling their banquets at high-end hotels and reducing portions at restaurants. Everything is being trimmed down.
According to Fox News, China’s new leader Xi Jinping is cutting down on waste, causing a village just outside of Beijing to cancel its dumpling festival after 30 years.
A woman surnamed Wang from the Liuminying village committee’s tourist office said:
“We planned to make about 50,000 dumplings and now the plan has been canceled. The flour bought for the festival will be distributed to the villagers and we haven’t bought the meat yet. Villagers will make dumplings at home with their own families and they may feel like this is a new experience for them since they haven’t done it that way for such a long time.”
There is still reason to celebrate, however.
According to CTV News, Saturday evening a billion people will be watching CCTV’s annual Lunar New Year on TV. It is a spectacle where some of the biggest Chinese performers display their skills.
This year is the first time the Chinese show’s main act is a foreigner. The Lunar New Year festivities include Celine Dion. She will perform “My Heart Will Go On” and a duet in Chinese with a folk singer. Celine Dion is a massive draw in China for her role in the blockbuster film, and national favorite, Titanic.
The CCTV gala will run for four hours and feature comedy sketches and ballet. A rival channel is staging a separate broadcast that will feature South Korean rapper Psy, doing his “Gangnam Style” dance.
While China has toned down its festivities, it is still shaping up to be a great Lunar New Year.
Happy Chinese New Year Everyone! Kung Hei Fat Choi! I hope the Year of the Water Snake brings you all the good things you wish for!
— Rico Hizon (@RicoHizon) February 9, 2013