ESL jobs in China|Find a teaching english job(TEFL jobs) in China.

Little New Year, which falls about a week before the lunar New Year, is also known as the Festival of the Kitchen God, the deity who oversees the moral character of each household. In one of the most distinctive traditions of Spring Festival, a paper image of the Kitchen God is burnt on Little New Year, dispatching the god’s spirit to Heaven to report on the family’s conduct over the past year.

The Kitchen God is then welcomed back by pasting a new paper image of him beside the stove. From this vantage point, the Kitchen God will oversee and protect the household for another year. The close association of the Kitchen God with the Lunar New Year has resulted in Kitchen God Festival being called Little New Year. Although very few families still make offerings to the Kitchen God on this day, many traditional holiday activities are still very popular.

Studies of popular Chinese religion indicate that the Kitchen God did not appear until after the invention of the brick cooking stove. The cooking stove was a fairly late development in the history of human civilization. Ancient writings indicate that the Fire God, the earliest form of the Kitchen God, was worshipped long before the stove was invented.

Zhu Rong,China’s ancient Fire God was a popular folk deity and had many temples built in his honor. Stone lined firepits, an early form of the brick stove, are still commonly used amongChina’s ethnic minorities. People in these regions make offerings to the Firepit God. The Firepit God appeared between the Kitchen God and the Fire God in the history of Chinese folk deities. The Kitchen God appeared soon after the invention of the brick stove. The Kitchen God was originally believed to reside in the stove, and only later took on human form.

Legend has it that during the Later Han Dynasty, a poor farmer named Yin Zifang was making breakfast one day shortly before the Lunar New Year, when the Kitchen God appeared to him. Although all Yin Zifang had was one yellow sheep, he sacrificed it to the Kitchen God. Yin Zifang soon became rich. To show his gratitude, Yin Zifang started sacrificing a yellow goat to the Kitchen God every winter on the day of the divine visitation, rather than during the summer as had been customary. This is the origin of the Kitchen God Festival, or Little New Year.

There are numerous customs associated with honoring the Kitchen God and determining the date of the Kitchen God Festival, or Little New Year. The date of this holiday was sometimes assigned according to location, with people in northern China celebrating it on the twenty-third day of the twelfth lunar month, and people in southern China celebrating it on the twenty-fourth. The date of Little New Year was also traditionally determined according to profession. Traditionally, feudal officials made their offerings to the Kitchen God on the twenty-third, the common people on the twenty-fourth, and coastal fishing people on the twenty-fifth. The person officiating at the sacrificial rites was generally the male head of the household.

The evening before Little New Year, the image of the Kitchen God that has been overseeing the household for the past year is taken down from its position by the stove. While the image is dried in preparation for burning, offerings and firewood are prepared. The firewood may include bundles of pine, cypress, holly, and pomegranate twigs. A new image of the Kitchen God is purchased, and figures of horses and dogs are plaited out of sorghum stalks. The offerings include pig’s head, fish, sweet bean paste, melons, fruit, boiled dumplings, barley sugar, and guandong candy, a sticky treat made out of glutinous millet and sprouted wheat. Most of the offerings are sweets of various sorts. It is thought that this will seal the Kitchen God’s mouth and encourage him to only say good things about the family when he ascends to Heaven to make his report. The Kitchen God will be invited to sit in a sedan chair for his trip to Heaven. Consequently, the day before Little New Year, streets and alleyways everywhere are full of vendors selling papermache sedan chairs and paper gold and silver ingots for the Kitchen God’s journey, and singing songs in his honor.

When a family makes offerings to the Kitchen God, it is in the hopes that he will ask Heaven to protect their household. According to an old maxim, “In Heaven good deeds are reported, on Earth safety is ensured.” The new image of the Kitchen God is not pasted up until Lunar New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, in a ceremony known as “welcoming back the Kitchen God.” According to a saying from southernChina, “On the twenty-fourth day he ascends to Heaven; on New Year’s Day he returns to Earth.”

Want to do teaching Eglish jobs in China

The Laba Festival falls on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month. This holiday may be traced back to the ancient Chinese custom of sacrificing game to the ancestors during the last month of the lunar year. Following the ritual, the participants feasted together on the sacrificial meat in an early expression of the Chinese tradition of communal eating. The Laba Festival is popularly referred to as Laji Festival (End-of-Year Sacrifice Festival), another indication of its ancient origins and association with early sacrificial rituals. It is also said that Sakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month. As a result, with the introduction of Buddhism to China, the Laba Festival also became known as the Day of Enlightenment.

Eating porridge on the Laba Festival is a very old tradition. As Buddhism became integrated into Chinese society, “Laba porridge” became known as “Buddha porridge,” in commemoration of the date of Buddha’s enlightenment. Legend has it that after Sakyamuni left secular life to become a monk, he meditated so deeply that he often forgot to eat. Once, when he was close to dying of starvation, he encountered a woman tending her flock. The woman saved his life by feeding him rice porridge with milk, enabling him to continue meditating and attain enlightenment on the day of Laba Festival. In order to commemorate this incident, every year at the Laba Festival Buddhists eat Laba porridge, also known as Buddha porridge. Many versions of the legends concerning the origins of Laba Festival exist in different regions of China.

The two most important traditions associated with Laba Festival are eating Laba porridge, and praying for peace and good health in the coming year.

Virtually every household in China eats Laba porridge on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month. Filled with nuts and dried fruit, today’s Laba porridge is both tastier and more appealing to the eye than the “Buddha porridge” of the past. Today, Laba porridge serves as a symbol of good fortune, long life, and fruitful harvest.

The custom of eating Laba porridge is not only an expression of respect for Buddha and the ancestral spirits. Laba porridge is also a very nourishing and healthful food. In his encyclopedic classic of herbal medicine Bencao Gangmu (Compendium of Materia Medica), eminent Ming Dynasty physician Li Shizhen states that rice porridge “increases the life force, produces saliva, nourishes the spleen and stomach, and resolves sweating due to weak constitution at health.”

Eating Laba porridge is a distinctive and popular tradition of the Laba Festival. Buddhist tradition equates porridge with good fortune. Friends, family, and neighbors customarily exchange gifts of Laba porridge to express good wishes. In the past, devout Buddhists presented gifts of Laba porridge to the emperor and local officials. It can be seen that Laba porridge was a favorite holiday gift not only among the rulers and bureaucracy of feudal China, but also in every strata of society.

Laba Festival falls during the depths of winter, when all kinds of food can be easily stored in Nature’s cooler. The harvest is in, and people can turn their attention to preparing and enjoying a wide array of delicious dishes. In addition to Laba porridge, many different types of pickled vegetables and special dishes are popular during Laba Festival, including garlic pickled in vinegar and pickled Chinese cabbage. In northernShaanxiProvince, it is obligatory to eat Laba noodle soup, made with eight different shredded ingredients. In the Tongguan-Lintong region ofShaanxiProvince, Laba noodle soup is made with hot chili peppers. Hot Laba wine is popular all overChina during Laba Festival.

Need teaching Eglish jobs in China

Cai Gaoqiao, or walking on stilts, is another popular traditional performance of the Spring Festival, especially in Northern China. Cai means walking on, and Gaoqiao means stilts. According to the archives, our Chinese ancestors
began using stilts to help them gather fruits from trees. This practical use of stilts gradually developed into a kind of folk dance.

Gaoqiao performance requires high skills and varies in forms. Usually the performers tie two long stilts to their feet, making them higher than others when standing on stilts. On their “moving stage”, they are deeply loved by masses.

Most stilts used today are made from wood. There are “double stilts” and “single stilt” performances. The double stilts are usually tied to one’s shank to fully demonstrate his skill; and the single stilt is held by the performer so that he can go up and down freely. The performance can be also divided into “Wenqiao” (the civil one) and “Wuqiao” (the martial one). The former stresses appearance and amusement, while the latter emphasizes individual unique skill. Gaoqiao has now assumed strong local flavor and national color.

In Shandong Province, Gaoqiao is done at three levels, and people at the upper level stand on the shoulder of the lower ones.

In Beijing and Tianjin, performers show their high skills by jumping on one foot or going through obstacles. Some performers can even jump down from four highly-piled tables on one foot.

In Northeast China, Gaoqiao in southern Liaoning Province is the most famous. It has complete procedures and a standard form. At first, performers must “Daxiang”, that is, one stands on the shoulder of another and do a yangko dance. Then they run to change queue formations. At last, they perform in groups including pair dancing, “catching butterflies”, “fishing” and small local operas, etc.

Ethnic groups, when performing Gaoqiao, usually wear clothes of their own nationality. The Bouyei ethnic group has both double stilts and single one; the latter one, due to its simplicity, is especially loved by children. In “Gaoqiao Shuama” of the Bai ethnic group, performers are dressed like a horse. The “Two-Person Gaoqiao” of the Uygur ethnic group blends their local dance in it, which is new and fresh.

Scholars believe the Gaoqiao originates from the totem worship of primitive clans and the fishermen’s lives along the coast. Historians have proved that the Danzhu clan in the times of Yao and Shun emperors, who took the crane as their totem, walked on stilts in their sacrificing and imitated dances of the crane. Archaeologists say some oracle-bone scriptures had images of dancing on stilts.

In the ancient geography book Shanhaijing (The Book of Mountains and Seas), there is an account ofLong-LegKingdom. According to ancestors, theLong-LegKingdom was related to “walking on stilts”. From the text, readers can imagine a man walking on stilts, holding a long fishing tool to catch fish in the shallow water Jingzu fishermen along the coast ofFangcheng, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, still keep the custom of fishing this way.

Find teaching Eglish jobs in China

Yangge is a representative collective folk dance that combines music, dance and feats, by manipulations of the silk handkerchiefs and movements of the feet. It’s the most popular festive performance esp. in the countryside of northern China. It’s originated from rice planting and farming and has some connection with ancient eulogy songs sung in sacrifices to the God of the Farm.

Nearly every village in northernShaanxiProvincehas a yangge group, which begins to rehearse the yangge almost a month before the lunar New Year’s Day. On that day, after eating jiaozi, the yangge group begins paying New Year calls to house to house. They wish the hosts a happy New Year and do the yangge dance in the courtyards. Accompanied by drums, they wave red silk waist bands. The hosts set off firecrackers to welcome the dancers’ arrival and invite them to taste their home-made rice wine. The sounds of songs, drums and firecrackers blend, creating a festive atmosphere in the village.

ESL jobs in Beijng

Putting up or changing door gods, is an important custom among the Chinese during Spring Festival. Door gods are pictures of deities posted on the door outside and inside the house. They are expected to keep ghosts away, protect the family and bring peace and good fortune. They are named according to function. There is the main door god, the secondary door god, the back door god and the wing room door god.

A typical Chinese house has a huge front gate/door with two wings that open in the middle. The door gods always come in pairs facing each other. It is considered bad luck to place the figures back-to-back.

The image of a chubby baby is considered as a wing room door god, symbolizing good luck, longevity and fertility.

The main door god comes in several different forms. The earliest door gods were Shen Shu and Yu Lei. They were assigned to guard the entrance to heaven under a magical peach tree that grew on Mount Tu Shuo, where they either let people pass into heaven, or rejected them, based on their life’s deeds. The Jade Emperor decreed that those who had done evil should be caught, bound and thrown to the tigers. Zhong Kui the ghost-catcher was a door god in the Tang Dynasty. Strictly speaking Zhong was not a real door god but a mythical ghost-catcher and he is often called the “backdoor general”.

Nowadays, the most common door gods are Ch’in Shu-pao and Yuchi Gong, who became popular during the Yuan Dynasty. Ch’ in has pale skin and usually carries swords; Yuchi has dark skin and usually carries batons. According to a Tang Dynasty legend, the emperor ordered the two generals to guard his door while he slept to keep away a ghost that had been bothering him. With the two men standing guard at the door, the emperor slept peacefully. The next day, the emperor, not wanting to trouble his two loyal generals, called on men to hang portraits of the two men on either side of his door. Ordinary families soon adopted the imperial custom, putting woodblock prints of the ever-vigilant generals on their front gates in the hope of attracting good luck and fending off evil spirits.

The Door God business soon spread throughout China, adding other folklore heroes and mythological figures to the repertoire.

ESL jobs in China

On the Chinese New Year, while pairs of the door gods are pasted in the center of the door, spring couplets are pasted on each side of the door and propitious words across the lintel at the top, expressing the feeling of life’s renewal and the return of spring.

It is said that spring couplets originated from “peach wood charms”, door gods painted on wood charms in earlier times. During the Five Dynasties (907-960), the Emperor Meng Chang inscribed an inspired couplet on a peach slat, beginning a custom which gradually evolved into today’s popular custom of pasting-up spring couplets.

In addition to pasting couplets on both sides and above the main door, it is also common to hang calligraphic writing of the Chinese characters for “spring”, “wealth” and blessing. Some people will even invert the drawings of “Fu” since the Chinese for “inverted” is a homonym in Chinese for “arrive”, thus signifying that spring, wealth or blessing has arrived.

Work in China,find ESL jobs in China and live in China

Spring rolls

Spring Rolls is a unique pan-Asian dining experience that offers sophisticated style and high quality at value prices.

Nian gao

During Chinese New Year, there’s a very popular and a must-have food to celebrate with. It is said to bring luck to everybody in terms of finance, career and family. This is a cake that has been traditionally passed down from many generations thousands of years ago, it is call ‘Nian Gao’ or some people call it Chinese New Year cake.

Jiaozi

Jiaozi(Chinese Dumpling) is a traditional Chinese Food, which is essential during holidays in Northern China. Chinese dumpling becomes one of the most widely loved foods in China.

Chinese dumpling is one of the most important foods in Chinese New Year. Since the shape of Chinese dumplings is similar to ancient Chinese gold or silver ingots, they symbolize wealth. Traditionally, the members of a family get together to make dumplings during the New Year’s Eve. They may hide a coin in one of the dumplings. The person who finds the coin will likely have a good fortune in the New Year. Chinese dumpling is also popular in other Chinese holidays or festivals, so it is part of the Chinese culture or tradition.

Chinese dumpling is a delicious food. You can make a variety of Chinese dumplings using different fillings based on your taste and how various ingredients mixed together by you.

Usually when you have Chinese dumpling for dinner, you will not have to cook anything else except for some big occasions. The dumpling itself is good enough for dinner. This is one of the advantages of Chinese dumpling over other foods, though it may take longer to make them.
Making dumplings is really teamwork. Usually all family members will join the work. Some people started to make dumplings when they were kids in the family, so most Chinese know how to make dumplings.

Fish

Is usually eaten or merely displayed on the eve of Chinese New Year. The pronunciation of fish  makes it a homophone for “surpluses”.

Guangdong candy

Guangdong candy, a sticky treat made out of glutinous millet and sprouted wheat, is thought to seal the Kitchen God’s mouth and encourage him to only say good things about the family when he ascends to Heaven to make his report.

Tangyuan

Tangyuan is special treats for southerners. Made of sticky rice flour filled with sweet or savory stuffing and round in shape, Tangyuan symbolizes family unity, completeness and happiness.

Tangerines and oranges

Tangerines and oranges are the “lucky” fruits and the best presents during the Spring Festival season as the words for tangerines and oranges sound like luck and wealth.

Dried persimmon cake

Dried persimmon cake is a popular treat for the Chinese New Year.

Bing Tang Hu Lu

Bing Tang Hu Lu or Candied haws on a stick, taste sour and sweet, and not only are delicious but look nice. The red haws arranged in order of size on the bamboo stick and covered with crystal thin malt sugar are so pretty.

Find ESL jobs in China,live in China.

Losar, the Tibetan New Year, is the greatest festival in Tibet.

In ancient times when the peach tree was in blossom, it was considered as the starting of a new year. Since the systematization of the Tibetan calendar in 1027 AD., the first day of the first month became fixed as Losar, the New Year.

Tibetans begin preparing for New Year’s Day in the 12th month in the Tibetan calendar, with initial activities including the use of green shoots of highland barley as offerings to the statues of Buddha.

Activities around the middle of the month include preparing fried wheat dough mixed with butter. The end of the month approaches with each household preparing a Five-Cereal Container containing items such as roasted highland barley flour mixed with butter, fried barley and dromar refreshments, adorned with highland barley ears and a butter sculpture in the shape of the head of a sheep. This is done to pray for a bumper harvest and better life in the coming year. The 29th day of the month arrives with Tibetans cleaning their kitchens and using dry wheat flour to paint eight auspicious patterns on the central wall. The whole family then gather in the evening to first eat dough drops known as Gutu in Tibetan, and then participate in a grand ritual designed to ward-off evil spirits.

New Year’s Day of the new Tibetan year is actually celebrated on New Year’s Eve. Lime is used to paint Swastika symbols on all doors; new woven rugs are placed in the newly cleaned rooms; and sacrificial objects such as fried wheat dough, fruit, butter, tea bricks and dried fruit are placed in front of niches holding statues of Buddha.

The first month of the Tibetan calendar features the greatest number of festivals of any month, with activities scheduled on almost a daily basis:

The entire family arises early on the first day of the month to worship Buddha. They adorn their holiday best and greet each other holding Five-Cereal Containers and high-land barley wine. This is followed by drinking hot pear wine and consuming Tuba oatmeal and dromar refreshments fried in butter, all of which were prepared the previous day.

The second day is dedicated to visiting relatives and friends.

The Grand Summons Ceremony begins in Lhasa on the fourth day of the month. Zongkapa, the founder of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, introduced the ceremony to Lhasa in 1409 to honor Sakyamuni who subdued evil spirits. Ceremonial activities begin with lamas from Lhasa’s three major monasteries reciting Buddhist sutras, lecturing on Buddhism and debating Buddhist doctrines in front of the statue of Sakyamuni in the Jokhang Monastery. Highly successful participants are granted the highest Buddhist academic title known as Lharamba Geshi. The government distributes alms to lamas during ceremonial activities, with devout Buddhists from throughout the region refilling butter lamps and presenting alms. The ceremony lasts until the 25th day of the month when the monastery greets Maitreya.

Find ESL jobs in China,live in China