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by: The Beat Asia
January 25, 2023
The Spring Festival, also known as the Chinese New Year, is one of the most important traditional events in China as it symbolises the "people's wish for a better life." The Chinese people have greatly celebrated it, from commoners to the imperial family, for thousands of years.
With support from the Palace Museum, the Macau Museum of Art (MAM) launched an exhibit, "Auspicious Beginning: Festival Traditions in the Forbidden City," last Dec. 16, 2022, to showcase cultural relics of the Qing imperial court and offer a glimpse into how it celebrated the Spring Festival.
In this comprehensive exhibition, museumgoers are able to learn about the New Year ceremonies of Qing royalty through 120 pieces of calligraphy, paintings, ancient books, royal seals, robes, ornaments, ritual objects, instruments, handicrafts, and more.
Visitors can sight the priceless decorations used during the Lunar New Year, including the imperial Doufang calligraphic work with the character "blessing" by the late Emperor Qianlong. Other relics include single-line scrolls (chuntiao), a purse and snuff bottle given as New Year gifts by the emperor, antique tableware, and equipment for the military Ice Games (Bingxi), among many others.
"Today, people are fastidious about the Lunar New Year objects of good omens, which, though not as sophisticated and as exquisite as those of the Qing royalty and nobility, likewise demonstrate similar yearning for a better life by people across times," the MAM wrote.
"Both in the deep palaces and the civil society, the Spring Festival-related customs are vital cultural memories and civilisational essences of the Chinese nation."
Along with the exhibit, the MAM has also organised a series of academic papers, education brochures, academic lectures, professional tours, workshops, interactive games, and an online virtual exhibit, among others, for the Spring Festival.
You can catch the "Auspicious Beginning: Spring Festival Traditions in the Forbidden City" at MAM until March 5.
Location: Macau Museum of Art, Avenida Xian Xing Hai
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