Students and teachers braved the cold of Shanghai winter to experience the New Year’s festivities.
Not too long ago, January 1st (New Year’s Day = ?? = yuándàn) was thought of as a “foreigner” holiday in China. Now, in the new China, Chinese people pour into the streets, music blares, and fireworks light up the skies just like the Western world. Shanghai, the most populous city in China, felt like New York City, Paris, Madrid, or London on December 31st as the clock neared midnight.
Anita Dai, an easyMandarin language instructor from the Chinese city of Kaifeng in Henan province, went to Shanghai’s Longhua Temple for her first ever New Years Eve celebration. Up until midnight at this Buddhist temple, prayers were said and cloth/candle hot air balloons were lit and rose into the air; then, at midnight, came the blasts of fireworks. She said it was “hen you yisi!” (“very interesting!”), “hen duo ren!” (“so many people!”).
Dan Whitaker, an American student and Director of Sponsorship Sales for the USA Pavilion of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, spent his second New Years in Shanghai with his wife and 4 year old daughter. They went out for dumplings, then for a stroll on the famous Nanjing West Road where many of Shanghai’s top shopping destinations were still decked out in Christmas decorations and lights that would rival any international city. “This New Years was a lot fun because we got to spend time as a family in the most exciting city on Earth.”
easyMandarin, also known as “Easy Mandarin” or “eM”, is one of China’s leading Chinese language training schools. The school was established in the year 2006 and since then has taught Mandarin to thousands of individuals from more than 60 countries, including overseas students, interns, CEOs, heads of NGOs, consulate generals, and people just visiting China to experience the language and culture. eM is based in Shanghai, China and is internationally accredited by CSN.