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The Year of the Dragon. In Red.

Best wishes for health and prosperity for everyone in the Year of the Dragon! As I walked through Yu Gardens this week watching the frenzied preparations to hang thousands of lanterns for the coming Lunar New Year tomorrow night, everywhere I looked was the same strong, vibrant Chinese red. 
Red symbolizes happiness in Chinese culture and is always the colour of joy and celebrations. It inspired me to find all my favourite red images from the last year, from all corners of China (I really covered some ground!) and put them together for you. Enjoy!
L: washing seats, Shanghai stadium
R: Drum Tower, Xi’an
Sliding sled seats sit on a frozen lake, Beijing
L: A small boy sits outside his mother’s hairdressing shop, Miao village
R: Lucky red underwear for New Year, Tongli
Cheap wigs, Qibao

L: Opera singer, Tongli
R: Night chicken feet and giblet vendor, Qian Dao Hu
Toffee strawberries, hawthorns and other fruits for sale, Nanjing
L: Peek into a Chinese home, Tongli
R: lanterns for sale at Shanghai’s Commodities Market

Bicycles, Shanghai. ‘Standard Integration, Transparent Operation’
L: Elderly worshipper, Longhua Temple Shanghai
R: Elderly early adopter with mobile phone and mountain bike, Beijing

L: Travelling home for Chinese New Year, Shanghai Railway Station
R: Transport for a family of four Kyrgyz, Lake Karakul
Dancing Miao women, Langde
L: Temple deity, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan
R: Young Kyrgyz girl near Tashkurgan

Hundreds of single votives hung together to create the character shou 寿 ‘long life’, Tongli temple
L: Scented handmade decorations for Dragon Boat Festival, Shanghai
R: Sweet peanut cake, Xian
Temple, Nanjing
L: Carefully painted fire hydrant, Shanghai
R: Gate to the old city, Lijiang

Pair of ancestor paintings, Tongli

L: Tiny carved wooden deity, Qibao
R: meat for sale at the wet market, Shanghai

Firecracker Seller, Nanchang Lu, Shanghai
L: A tour group of workers from a costume factory in Northern China dress up in cabaret costumes whilst visiting a small Miao ethnic village. No, I have no idea why.
R: Prayers at the Confucius Temple, Shanghai

Unbridled joy on a battery-operated wheelie horse, main square, Kaili
Gong Xi Fa Cai!


Happy New Year! Congratulations, and be prosperous!

  • F

    Beautiful photos Fiona! Enjoy the celebrations FT xx

  • Fiona Reilly

    Thanks F, we will, snow is predicted so it should be beautiful – firecrackers and snowflakes!

  • Adeline

    Da ji da li, Fiona. And have a restful break while the rest of China goes MIA.

  • Fiona Reilly

    It is just like everyone is missing in action – so few people on the streets but I can hear from the firecrackers already starting that it's gonna be mayhem tonight. Happy New Year!

  • Michi

    What gorgeous photos!! I love all the red (my favorite color). A very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! 🙂

  • Fiona Reilly

    Thanks Michi, so happy you enjoyed the photos! This red will always, forever, make me think of China.

  • shaz

    Gong Xi Fa Cai Fiona. Amazing photos. I especially liked the description of the carefully painted fire hydrant 🙂