Here’s what you will need to make your holiday celebration special
By Xu Fang
Buy a Tang suit
The concept of the Tang suit has been expanded to all garments with Chinese elements. There are Tang suits available at different price levels and suitable for different occasions. On the third floor of the Jiading Oriental Department Store, there are quite a few brands of modern style Tang suits.
If a ready-made Tang suit does not appeal to you, you can order a tailor-made one at a tailor’s shop in the Zhouqiao Old Street commercial area, choosing the size and materials yourself. A silk Tang suit usually costs more than 500 yuan (US$82) and takes about a week to make.
Colorful cloth shoes are also a popular purchase. Women who have to wear high-heeled shoes at work can buy a pair of warm and comfortable cotton shoes to wear during the Spring Festival holiday.
Scrolls, pictures and paper-cuts
Spring Festival scrolls on the front door, pictures in the sitting-room and paper-cuts on the windows, all these will help set up a New Year’s atmosphere. If a big red Chinese knot is hung on the wall, your home will be like a typical traditional Chinese one.
These articles are all available in supermarkets and the small commodities markets. But it is not so easy to get a pair of traditional Spring Festival scrolls written by calligraphers. If you are interested in hand-written scrolls, you can inquire at the neighborhood committee, which usually organizes calligraphers to write scrolls for residents before the Spring Festival.
Paper-cuts are also an interesting item. You can visit the district library, where an exhibition is held by the famous paper-cut master Wang Jianzhong, featuring the horse, the zodiac animal for 2014.
In the Nanxiang Culture and Sports Center, there is also a paper-cut show by Lu Linyuan, a enthusiast in the tradition. If you want to have a live show, you may contact Lu through Jiading News Press.
Buy tasty food
Eating is most important during the Spring Festival. The Chinese usually make some food by themselves, such as preserved meat and eight-treasure rice pudding.
At the dinner table on Chinese New Year’s Eve, some things cannot be omitted.
For example, fish, which symbolize high rank, sweet soup balls, symbolizing reunions, peanuts, indicating long life, and candies, representing sweet life.
Shanghai No. 1 Food Store is the best-known food store in Shanghai. It supplies a variety of food, ranging from Shanghai traditional spiced beans, White Rabbit candies, to cakes and chocolate. A new outlet has just opened in the Wanda Plaza in Jiangqiao for the convenience of Jiading residents who live nearby.