China’s most important traditional festival, the Spring Festival, is approaching. Unlike religious festivals in Western countries, the Spring Festival is closely related to nature. By celebrating the arrival of spring, it embodies the idea of the renewal of all manifestations and the unity of nature and humans. At the same time, it is also a festival about family reunion, fully showing how much Chinese people cherish kinship, friendship, and familial harmony. This harmony between humans and nature, humans and society, and among humans themselves is the essence of the tradition of the Spring Festival, and is also a core cultural value pursued and cherished by the Chinese nation for thousands of years. Today, China’s internal affairs and diplomatic thoughts are permeated with the values of harmonious coexistence, and the Doctrine of the Mean is still the quintessential wisdom embraced by Chinese people who seek to achieve harmonious interpersonal relations with it.
The arrival of the Spring Festival indicates that spring is approaching. In this cold winter to which we will bid farewell, the Sino-U.S. trade frictions which have lasted for nearly a year also ushered in important bilateral consultations to boost global economic confidence. Guided by the important consensus reached between the heads of state of both countries, the two sides had extensive, in-depth, and detailed exchanges on trade and structural issues of common concern to enhance mutual understanding, thus laying the foundation for resolving mutual concerns. They sought to expand cooperation on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit, to manage and control differences on the basis of mutual respect, and to jointly promote Sino-U.S. relations based on coordination, cooperation, and stability. For all the economies that have been victimized from the tremor of Sino-U.S. economic and trade frictions, this consultation, like a ray of hope, makes people feel that with the arrival of winter spring will not be far behind.
As a day of reunion and returning to one’s roots, the Spring Festival is the reaffirmation of the family ties. It expresses the collective spiritual feelings of the Chinese nation and enhances the affinity and cohesion of the nation every year. Few overseas Chinese celebrate the Spring Festival alone, and it’s often the case that several or dozens of households gather together to have Chinese dumplings, with every family bringing a dish. People put the dishes together, and then connect to the Internet to watch the replay of the CCTV Spring Festival Gala. Some overseas Chinese associations also hold Spring Festival gala events during which children stage performances. The emphasis placed on the Spring Festival conveys their remembrance and praise of their homeland.
On January 2, President Xi Jinping attended a gathering to commemorate the 40th anniversary of issuing the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan and delivered an important speech. Noting that the separation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait has lasted for 70 years, Xi pointed out that the national rejuvenation and reunification represent the general trend, righteous cause, and the common aspiration of Chinese people. The best way to achieve national reunification is peaceful reunification and the practice of one country, two systems. Peaceful reunification is based on deepening cross-strait integration and development. Chinese culture is the greatest propelling force to facilitate peaceful reunification and identity recognition. In Taiwan, not only are the Spring Festival cultural customs in line with those of the mainland, but also is the evolution of modern society similar to that in China’s mainland. It fully demonstrates that compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait share the same roots and culture, and that Chinese culture is the soul of compatriots on both sides.
Following the fundamental transformation of the Chinese nation from an agricultural civilization to a modern civilization, the Spring Festival, which originated over 4,000 years ago, also is experiencing the challenge of a rapidly changing society and modern civilization. The Chinese way of celebrating the Spring Festival has become more open and pluralistic. In order to protect the environment, people have abandoned the tradition of setting off firecrackers during the festival. Lucky Money, which is given as a lunar New Year gift, does not need to be prepared in cash, but is instead distributed via the Internet. Besides, it has become a key theme of today’s Spring Festival that people may have festivities in a more open-ended style by opting to stay alone or get together, go out or stay at home, make dumplings at home or order takeout. They can create new experiences from old customs and share joy in diversity.
Finally, the theme of the Spring Festival also covers auspiciousness, harvest, peace, and wealth, which are people’s most desired wishes for life. As the Spring Festival approaches, our magazine wishes all the best to readers and friends across the world.