@GoToNanjing Celebrates The Year of the Rabbit With International Audiences

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Social media recently lit up with the sparkle of colorful lights and the warm glow of lanterns that filled the streets of Nanjing in celebration of the Chinese New Year.

Nanjing recently welcomed the Year of the Rabbit

Social media recently lit up with the sparkle of colorful lights and the warm glow of lanterns that filled the streets of Nanjing in celebration of the Chinese New Year. From January 22 through February 5, people from across the globe welcomed the Year of the Rabbit by following along with the traditional festivities on Nanjing’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter channels and by following #GoToNanjing. Photos and videos showcased the customs and grand history of China’s largest festival of the year through the lens of one of the nation’s great ancient capitals. Highlights included: Showcasing the Traditions and Culture Behind the Celebrations

The ancient capital of Nanjing was bathed in a sea of red during the Chinese New Year as the color represents good luck and happiness. Red is also considered a royal color, and hued décor could be found at many of Nanjing’s most notable sites, including Chaotian Palace, Xiaoling Mausoleum of the Ming Dynasty and the Drum Tower. Another popular tradition among locals includes walking along the 650-year-old Nanjing City Wall on the 16th day of the first lunar month for good luck and health in the new year.

Enjoying Blooming Plum Blossoms
Another popular tradition in Nanjing during Chinese New Year is to welcome the arrival of spring by enjoying the enchanting aroma and beautiful colors of the blooming plum blossoms surrounding Purple Mountain Scenic Area. The custom got its start during the Southern Dynasties period nearly 1,500 years ago. Plum blossoms are revered in Chinese culture for their elegance, strength and resilience to endure the country’s harsh winters.

Reveling in China’s Largest Lantern Festival
Chinese New Year, known local as the Spring Festival, came to an end on February 5, with the Qinhuai Lantern Festival, China’s largest and most popular lantern festival, recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of China since 2006. Visitors and locals alike gathered at various historic sites along the scenic Qinhuai River with handcrafted lanterns, many purchased at the nearby Confucius Temple. Intricate lantern designs come in all shapes, sizes and colors, with rabbits being the key animal from the Chinese zodiac featured this year. Daqiao Lantern Market located on Nanjing’s Xi’nanli Block, historically one of the city’s top places to secure lanterns during the Ming and Qing Dynasty, has become popular again in recent years.

Exploring the Flavors of the New Year
For most families, the day before Chinese New Year kicks off with a celebratory meal featuring plenty of chilled vegetarian delights such as longevity noodles, Buddha's Delight, spring rolls and more. Each dish represents good luck and fortune in the coming year. To wrap up the holiday, delicious local snacks such as tangyuan, round glutinous rice flour dumplings filled with sweet black sesame or peanut pastes, can be purchased and enjoyed throughout the city.

About Nanjing
Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, is situated in the Yangtze River Delta area 190 miles northwest of Shanghai. Recognized as one of the four great ancient capitals of China, Nanjing has served as the capital city of 10 Chinese dynasties and regimes for a total of more than 1,800 years. A sophisticated metropolis and a modern center of history, education, and culture, Nanjing is home to some of the country’s most significant historical attractions such as the Xiaoling Tomb of the Ming Dynasty, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum; The Presidential Palace; and a City Wall that dates back more than 600 years. Popular attractions also include China’s oldest public library and one of the country’s first museums, the Nanjing Museum. Nanjing is accessible by Nanjing Lukou International Airport (NKG) with daily flights from North America. Three train stations – Nanjing Railway Station, Nanjing South Railway Station, and Nanjing West Railway Station – connect Nanjing to all of China’s major cities, including Shanghai, which is a 90- minute ride via bullet train or three hours by car. For more information on Nanjing, visit http://www.gotonanjing.com/ or follow the destination on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube at @GoToNanjing.

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Ashley Norman