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Ni hao from CHINA

There are a number of global partners from China, for instance, one is from Chengdu City, Sichuan Province in southwest China, two are from Shaoguan City in South China, one is from Hangzhou City, East China and another is from Ningbo, a port city in East China. John Wu, runs workshops for the teachers in Guangzhou.

Emails from China

In one of his first emails John wrote "September 10th is Chinese Teacher's Day and this year September 11th is our Chinese traditional Mid-Autumn Festival. Mooncakes are the popular snacks". Ann, another of the partners also wrote about the Mid-Autumn Festival and promised to tell us more about Chinese festivals and legends.

17 September - Emails from Ann

I read your emails to my pupils. They are very excited and interested. ... Now let me tell you about a special place in China. It's Confucius Temple. Last week we visited there. Located in the center of the old city of Qufu, the Confucius Temple used to be a place for making sacrifices to Confucius, the philosopher and educator. The temple is now a historic site under special protection by the government."

AnnHave you been to Beijing the capital of China? Tian'anmen Square is in Beijing. It is one of the largest city center squares in the world. It is truly the heart of Beijing. People all over China dream of having the chance one day to visit the capital city and famous square.

Tian'anmen Square (English name Gate of Heavenly Peace) actually gets its name from the huge gate that stands on the north side of the square. Tian'anmen was built in 1417 and served as the entrance gate to the Imperial Palace named the Forbidden City.

In the past, every traditional Chinese home had a small courtyard in front of the main building. Of course, the courtyard of the royal family had to be much larger, but the actual dimensions of the square have gone through a succession of changes over years. Tian'anmen does not only possess political importance but is also a place to relax for average citizens flying kites and walking and talking.

25 September - Email from Ann

You know we'll celebrate our New Year in four months. The Spring Festival, also known as the Lunar New Year, is the greatest traditional festival. It is usually a time between late January or early February, which means rest and relaxation between winter and spring after a year's toil, and means celebration as well. Before the Spring Festival, people clean their houses, put red couplets on their gates, and set off firecrackers (according to fairy tale, for driving a demon, named Nian, away). On the eve of the Spring Festival, a get-together banquet is a must, and the most popular food is Jiaozi, which is supposed to bring good fortune. On the first day of the New year, everybody wears new clothes and greets relatives and friends with bows and congratulations wishing each other the best during the New Year.

Iron Lion1 - October Extract from an email from Ann's son

Today is National Day and I have dinner in my grandma's house. Tomorrow I and my father are going to Iron Lion to have a picnic. It was built in 953. Its body is 535 cm tall, its head is 170 cm tall and body is 630 cm long. It's 40000 kg. It is very big.

1 October - Extract from Lilian's email

The People's Republic of China was founded on Oct 1, 1949. Today is our National Day. It's one of the most important festivals in China. We have seven days no school. Some of us will travel with their families, some will visit their kinfolks, some will play with their friends. There isn't any special food in this festival. It's a holiday for fun! We can do anything we like!

3 October - Extract from an email from Ann

I went to Tianyun Mountain in He Nan province for our National Day. It's in the east of China. There I visited Xiaozhai Ditch, Laotan Ditch and Wenpan Valley. The view is very beautiful. It's a marvel of natural beauty so I can't help sharing with you. I introduce the Xiaozhai Ditch to you first.

Waterfall Xiaozhai Ditch is told to be a place where Liu Wuzhou, a peasant uprising hero at the end of the Sui Dynasty, and Li Shimin, the first founder of Tang dynasty, pitched camps with a length of about 2 kilometers. High mountains stand opposite each other, and there is a gorge between them. On the bottom of the gorge stand great rocks and flow tiny streams. It is known as Tan Pu Chuan because there is a spring every three steps, a waterfall every five steps and a pond every ten steps. It is also called Changchun Ditch for it is warm in winter and spring and cool in summer and autumn. The most magnificent is Yaputan, where there is a waterfall with a height of over 20 meters shaping like "Y". At the bottom is a pond, which is full of green water and covers an area of more than one hundred square meters. Around the pond is a vast piece of open land where tourists can take a rest. Other water landscapes include Water Curtain Cave, Fengwei Chained Pearls, White Snake Exiting Cave, Divine Tortoise Vomiting Pearls, and Black Dragon Spraying Mist. The end of the ditch lies among bold cliffs, where you are sure to feel like sitting in well when looking up at the vault of heaven.

21 October - Extract from an email from Ann

flowersLaotan Ditch, in Yuntai Mountain, is said to be an asylum where the Dragon King of the Heavenly River stayed after being banished because he violated the order of the Jade Emperor, the Supreme Deity of Taoism (he wilfully released rainfall to alleviate the suffering of ordinary people in north Henan caused by drought). With a length of about 3km, high peaks stand abruptly on both sides of the ditch, which are magnificent. Groups of hills constitute a picturesque screen in the ditch. Flowers and plants are as beautiful as brocade in the mountains. Clear streams flow like clouds underfoot. Rare rocks, mountain springs, fragrant flowers and waterfalls constitute a piece of symphony in the ditch. At the end of the ditch is Yuntai Heavenly Waterfall, the highest waterfall in the country, with a drop of 314m. Viewed from afar, it looks just like a jade column supporting the sky. It roars like a thunderbolt, looking splendid.

28 October - Email from Ann

I want to introduce another traditional Chinese festival. We call it the Lantern Festival and it's on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month every year. On that day, various types of lanterns are exhibited, fireworks set off, and acrobatics and dances displayed. Traditionally, Yuanxiao is eaten on the night of the Lantern Festival, because it symbolizes family unity and happiness. Yuanxiao is a dough stuffed with sweet stuffings such as sugar and bean paste. Therefore, the Lantern Festival is also called the Yuanxiao Festival.

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