Chinese New Year in Moscow
Chinese New Year is celebrated all over the world. Outside of Asia the most festive celebrations are done in London, San Francisco and Sydney – parades, lion dances, lantern statues, fireworks and amazing food. Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival is the longest Chinese holiday and it lasts for 2 weeks. This year it coincided with Russian Maslenitsa, the last winter holiday which marks the end of the coldest days. Even though it is covered in snow all around Moscow people welcome spring and enjoy the holidays. Let’s go and see how these two festivities are mixed up together in GUM, the main Department Store of Moscow. We are in the Red Square now.
Look at the decorations! Chinese and Russian styles are mixed together — red Chinese balloons and ribbons with Russian matreshkas and ballerinas.
There is an exhibition “Great Silk Way: Art of Chinese Embroidery” in the galleries of GUM. Such pictures, ornamental arts of the Heavenly Empire, have always be treated as luxury items and real masterpieces. Changing light dependent on the illumination, transparent and floating embroidery with water-color transition of the light have been highly appreciated at the court of the Emperor and in aristocratic families.
Various types of fiber were used for paintings: silk, velvet, wool and moulin tread. To depict the tiniest details, the artists worked with art silk not exceeding 1.5-0.7 mm thick. Variety of embroidery styles will dazzle you: traditional and thick stitches , flat satin, flat and metropolitan satin stitch, and also diverse stitches accentuating volume and creating perspective effect, uniting far-distance and close-up view. Images are so vivid and real that viewers can feel flower odor, hear birds singing, find themselves in marvelous scenery, sense atmosphere of hectic life style of ancient Chinese towns.
There is a choice of Chinese food and desserts for you to try. Chinese New Year desserts have special meanings — Nian gao is a type of rice cake and it symbolizes success each and every year; Fa gao is like a colored sponge cake and muffin together, and it is supposed to make you rich.
Let’s not forget that we are in Russia and celebrate Maslenitsa, a whole week eating pancakes!