Archives For holidays

Having just returned from a trip to China, I am happy to share with you the beautiful and colorful Christmas decorations I found. Even though Christmas isn’t really celebrated as a holiday in China, many restaurants, hotels, and department stores decorate for the season! Would you like to know what famous designer participates also?

It Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas | BeauSides.com

As you can see in the photo above, even Louis Vuitton decorates his store for Christmas in Beijing! I must admit that this was a large tree indeed!

When I arrived at my hotel in Beijing, the train arrived too early for me to check in and it was too cold to stay outside and sightsee, so I walked around the hotel and photographed some of their decorations. Would you like to see them?

It Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas | BeauSides.com

One of the hotel’s restaurants is just beyond the glass case you see on the back left of this photo. I will show you the case and how the employees were dressed this year!

It Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas | BeauSides.com

It Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas | BeauSides.com

It Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas | BeauSides.com

The photo above was taken outside a mall at about 4:30 PM. Yes, it gets that dark that early in this city! It was crazy cold this day and the wind was blowing, so I felt sorry for the workers decorating this display. They definitely were not Grinches that day!

May you have the merriest of Christmases!

 

For those of you that know my wife, you know she spent many years in the real estate industry before going into the medical field. There were only a few things the she didn’t like in the real estate industry — like rude clients, teammates that didn’t work hard, and unrealistic people in regard to the value of their property. There is, however, one thing that still bothers her today that has to do with real estate, so would you like to know what it is?

Merry Christmas - Even in August | BeauSides.com

Merry Christmas - Even in August | BeauSides.com

You guessed it! She hates houses where Christmas decorations are left up all year long, and my trip to China in August reminded me of this. It seemed odd to see Christmas decorations out when it was over 90 degrees! You can see in the reflection in the photo above and on the right that I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, so it was hot! This was not an isolated sighting, as I came across other violators of the good real estate habits!

Merry Christmas - Even in August | BeauSides.com  Merry Christmas - Even in August | BeauSides.com

Believe it or not, I wasn’t looking for these Christmas decorations, but I just kept coming across them time after time on this trip. My wife is far from a Scrooge, but she has taught me it is in poor taste to leave your Christmas decorations up all year long.

This was something that just caught my eye on this latest trip. I encourage you to travel when you can, and have your camera ready, because you never know what you may see!

Enjoy your travels!

In China, by far the largest holiday is the Lunar New Year, called the Spring Festival or Chun Jie in Chinese. It is based on the moon, so it doesn’t happen on the same day each year. It occurs at the end of January or the first of February. Some of the main customs surrounding Chun Jie are cleaning your home, eating jaozi (dumplings,) and parents giving a child a red envelope full of money. A couple of the lesser-known traditions involve getting a haircut and taking a shower to wash away anything bad.

As you would imagine, in China there will be lots of fireworks all day and night surrounding their holiday, or at least that is how it was in the past. Now there is a ban on fireworks, which is being done to improve the air quality. Honestly, that will be a hard ban to enforce!

Many people receive an extended vacation to celebrate this huge holiday. In fact, it is known as the largest annual migration of people, when all of the city workers travel back to their rural hometowns to visit their families.

This new year is called the year of the dog, and gou is how you say dog in Chinese. I will display a paper cut-out symbol for the year of the dog for you to enjoy.

happy-new-year

Happy Spring Festival to all of my Chinese friends!

 

Over the years and during my many trips to China (56, but who is counting?), I have seen an increase in the number of Christmas decorations. Initially, only hotels in larger cities with many foreign patrons would be sparsely decorated; but now restaurants, department stores, and especially hotels like to decorate for Christmas.

Would you like to see some of the Christmas decorations I recently saw in China?

Christmas Decorations in China

Christmas Decorations in China

These two photographs above were also taken in a hotel lobby. You can see how exhausted Santa’s Elf looks, so hopefully that means there were many children on the nice list! Also, you can see a street lamp with a snowy windmill scene in it. Did I mention I was in China?

Christmas Decorations in China

I like the color blue in the picture below, so I like the contrasting colors of red, green, and blue in this decoration. This was actually on the ceiling of a hotel lobby. I am not sure what the hot air balloon has to do with our traditional Christmas decorations, but I guess if Rudolph got sick, Santa could use the hot air balloon to deliver the toys to all of the children!

So there you have a quick tour of Christmas decorations in China. Don’t worry, I saw many traditional Christmas trees, snowflakes, and Santa too!

Tomb Sweeping Day

April 13, 2017 — Leave a comment

The first week of April I was in China, and I got to witness firsthand one of the Chinese holidays. The holiday is called “Qingming” or Tomb Sweeping Day. This holiday is designed to honor, or some would say worship, their dead family members. Do you want to know how the day is celebrated?

Tomb Sweeping Day

As the name indicates, a tomb is involved with this holiday. Actually, flowers will be left at a grave site, and even a bottle of the person’s favorite adult beverage will be left as well. Most people living in the cities are cremated, but people living in the countryside are buried and have a tomb stone, so the people living in cities will go to the streets and sidewalks to burn something for their ancestors. Can you guess what they burn?

Tomb Sweeping Day

This is money — well, fake money that is burned so their ancestors will have money wherever they are. The bills look like a 100 RMB bill, which is the largest bill used in China.

Have you ever heard of Tomb Sweeping Day?

Even though Christmas isn’t an officially recognized holiday in China, it is common to see plenty of holiday decorations. Many of the nicer hotels and department stores go all out with their decorations, and that is always interesting to see.

During a recent trip to China, I saw a combination of Chinese and western decorations together. So, what does it look like when East meets West in regard to Christmas decorations?

When East Meets West for Christmas

This photo was taken outside a mall that had holiday decorations displayed. The large green golf ball looking thing is actually part of a science education center for children, and at the other end of that building is where I have taught a time or two.

When East Meets West for Christmas

These certainly look different in the sunshine! If you are familiar with the song “Christmas in Dixie,” that wouldn’t apply in this location!

In this city there are several large department stores, part of a chain which is based in France, and they have many brightly colored options for your holiday decorations. You can even get a tree already decorated — and if you forget to say Merry Christmas, your tree can say it for you!

When East Meets West for Christmas

Maybe I should have this blog displayed again around the first of July. We will all probably be dreaming of a white Christmas at that time of the year!

Where have you seen the most interesting Christmas decorations?

Each winter, I bring gifts, food, toiletries, and cleaning supplies to the special needs orphanage supported by Global Partners in Life. Actually, I do this during my visits throughout the year, but it is a particular focus during winter, when we celebrate Christmas and China celebrates their largest holiday, the Lunar New Year. Just a few weeks ago, I thought I had made some excellent decisions about the gifts I purchased for the children, but I quickly found out I was wrong . . . at least according to one young fellow. Can you guess where I made my mistake?

Sorry, Only Two Can Play This Game

The board game in the photograph above was a game the children knew how to play. When the game was opened, two of the older boys set up the board and began to play. The younger fellow finished playing with a different new toy, and got interested in the board game being played by the two older guys. When the younger fellow was told that only two could play the new game, to say he was upset would be an understatement! I quickly realized my mistake and made a note to myself for the purchase of future games.

After the emotions faded from not being able to play right away, my little friend remained focused on the game. Perhaps he was trying to learn how to play, or maybe he was learning some of the strategy involved. One thing I am certain about, he didn’t like not being allowed to play the new game when he wanted to play. I think he was ecstatic when he finally was allowed to play it!

Even though there was a rocky period with this one particular game, the children are always so enthusiastic to receive their gifts! Unfortunately, they don’t receive many during the year. A special thanks goes out to those that give so generously to the work of Global Partners in Life. We love putting smiles on the faces of the children and meeting their needs!

Would you like to help us? Visit www.globalpartnersinlife.org to learn more!

In China, by far the largest holiday is the Lunar New Year, which is called the Spring Festival or “Chun Jie” in Chinese. It is based on the lunar calendar, so it doesn’t happen on the same day each year. It occurs around the end of January or the first of February, and this year it will take place on the 28th of January.

Happy Year of the Rooster

Some of the main customs surrounding Chun Jie are cleaning your home, eating jaozi (dumplings), and parents giving a child a red envelope full of money. This is called a “hong bao.” A couple of the lesser known traditions would involve getting a haircut and taking a shower to wash away anything bad. And as you can imagine, there will be lots of fireworks all day and night surrounding their holiday!

year-of-the-rooster-2

Many people also receive an extended vacation to celebrate this huge holiday. In fact, it is known as the largest annual migration of people, when all of the city workers travel back to their rural hometowns to visit their families!

Happy Year of the Rooster

This new year will be called the year of the rooster. I am told that the rooster has some good qualities like being a hard worker and not lazy! I hope you enjoy these pictures I just took during my latest trip to China, as they were starting to prepare for celebrating the new year of the rooster!

Happy Year of the Rooster

Happy Year of the Rooster!

 

 

One of the holidays celebrated in China during the fall is called the Mid-Autumn Festival or “Zhong qiu jie.” I have celebrated many of them in China, and one thing I can always count on is there being many moon cakes sold, served, and given as gifts. So, have you seen a moon cake?

Have You Ever Heard of Moon Cakes?

I think you can tall from the photograph above how they got their name! Moon cakes come in two main styles: one has a very flaky white exterior, and the other has a golden exterior with a beautiful design. The filling within the cake can have many different exotic flavors.

The ones I like the best are strawberry and fig. I have also had some that were made with pecans, and another type with peanuts that was quite tasty as well, but that is about my limit of the ones I have enjoyed. I have had various ones with filled with some type of cream filling in either white, pink, or violet. Honestly, I have no idea what is in some of the moon cakes — but they are still a beautiful gift to receive!

Have You Ever Heard of Moon Cakes?

The moon cakes above were for sale at a local street market. I am not sure what fillings they had, but they looked delicious that rainy morning!

Have You Ever Heard of Moon Cakes?

As you can see, the moon cakes can come in different colors and packaging. The Chinese are wonderful hosts, so they enjoy giving the foreigners moon cakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival.

If you are ever around China during the “Zhong qiu jie,” you simply must try a moon cake. It is one of the great traditions of China, and 1.4 billion people can’t be wrong!

Have you ever had moon cakes?

So Many Ways

October 27, 2016 — Leave a comment

The needs at the special needs orphanage in China supported by Global Partners in Life is long, and sometimes we may not realize all of them, but we provide for the children as we can. A universal and consistent need is food for the growing children, and this is one of the ways we have tried to help.

When Global Partners in Life found out their old refrigerator had broken during a holiday, making it difficult to get it serviced, which caused them to lose everything in it, we purchased a new one for them. It was large, easy to clean, and energy efficient, so the leader of the special needs orphanage liked it very much.

So Many Ways - A New Refrigerator

One of the things we enjoy doing when we return is stocking their pantry and refrigerator. Many items are helpful for restocking their pantry, and some of the items we commonly purchase for the children are rice, formula, and individually wrapped snack items.

The leader told us once that the children really loved the beef we provided for them, so we always try to remember to buy some beef. The price of beef is very high in China, so it is a treat for the children to have some!

So Many Ways - A Stocked Refrigerator

As you can see in the photograph above, the refrigerator is almost full when we leave! We also purchase diapers and cleaning supplies consistently, but those aren’t kept with the food items in the pantry or refrigerator!

Please consider investing in the work being done by Global Partners in Life in China to provide for these truly needy children.