Tomb Sweeping Day (清明节, qīngmíng jié) is a Chinese holiday that has been celebrated in China for centuries. The day is meant to commemorate and pay respect to a person’s ancestors. Thus, on Tomb Sweeping Day, families visit and clean the gravesite of their ancestors to show their respect.
In addition to visiting cemeteries, people also go for walks in the countryside, plant willows, and fly kites. Those who cannot travel back to their ancestors’ gravesites may opt to pay their respects at martyrs parks to pay homage to revolutionary martyrs.
When Is Tomb Sweeping Day?
Tomb Sweeping Day is held 107 days after the start of winter and is celebrated on April 4 or April 5, depending on the lunar calendar.
Tomb Sweeping Day is based on the Hanshi Festival (寒食节, hánshií jié), which is also known as the Cold Food Festival and Smoke-Banning Festival. While the Hanshi Festival is no longer celebrated today, it has gradually been absorbed into Tomb Sweeping Day festivities.
The Hanshi Festival commemorated Jie Zitui (介子推), a loyal court official from the Spring and Autumn Period. Jie was a loyal minister to Chong Er. During a civil war, Prince Chong Er and Jie fled and were in exile for 19 years. According to legend, Jie was so loyal during the duo’s exile that he even made broth out of the flesh of his leg to feed the prince when they were short of food. When Chong Er later became king, he rewarded those who helped him when times were tough; however, he overlooked Jie.
Many advised Jie to remind Chong Er that he, too, should be repaid for his loyalty. Instead, Jie packed his bags and relocated to the mountainside. When Chong Er discovered his oversight, he was ashamed. He went to look for Jie in the mountains. The conditions were harsh and he was unable to find Jie. Someone suggested that Chong Er set fire to the forest to force Jie out. After the king set fire to the forest, Jie didn’t appear.
When the fire was extinguished, Jie was found dead with his mother on his back. He was under a willow tree and a letter written in blood was found in a hole in the tree. The letter read:
Giving meat and heart to my lord, hoping my lord will always be upright. An invisible ghost under a willow Is better than a loyal minister beside my lord. If my lord has a place in his heart for me, please make self-reflection when remembering me. I have a clear conscious in the nether world, being pure and bright in my offices year after year.
To commemorate Jie’s death, Chong Er created the Hanshi Festival and ordered that no fire could be set on this day. Meaning, only cold food could be eaten. One year later, Chong Er went back to the willow tree to hold a memorial ceremony and found the willow tree in bloom again. The willow was named ‘Pure Bright White’ and the Hanshi Festival became known as ‘Pure Brightness Festival.’ Pure Brightness is a fitting name for the festival because the weather is usually bright and clear in early April.
How Is Tomb Sweeping Day Celebrated?
Tomb Sweeping Day is celebrated with families reuniting and traveling to their ancestors’ gravesites to pay their respects. First, weeds are removed from the gravesite and the tombstone is cleaned and swept. Any necessary repairs to the gravesite are also made. New earth is added and willow branches are placed atop the gravesite.
Next, joss sticks are placed by the grave. The sticks are then lit and an offering of food and paper money is placed at the tomb. Joss paper money is burned while family members show their respect by bowing to their ancestors. Fresh flowers are placed at the tomb and some families also plant willow trees. In ancient times, five-colored paper was placed underneath a stone on the grave to signify that someone had visited the grave and that it had not been abandoned.
The Chinese joss paper “spirit money” known as Hell Bank Notes are commonly used in all manner of contemporary ancestor ceremonies. The most traditional notes bear the seal of the afterlife’s “Bank of Heaven and Earth,” while others are printed to resemble legal tender currency from various countries. Bills feature an image of the Jade Emperor, the Taoist monarch of heaven, and come in outrageous denominations from 10,000 to 1,000,000,000 dollars to help an ancestor purchase services, pay off the God of Death or escape punishment. Here are a few popular designs.
As cremation is gaining popularity, families continue the tradition by making offerings at ancestral altars or by placing wreaths and flowers at martyrs’ shrines. Due to hectic work schedules and the long distance some families must travel, some families opt to mark the festival earlier or later in April over a long weekend or assign a few family members to make the trip on behalf of the entire family.
Once the family has paid their respects at the gravesite, some families will have a picnic at the gravesite. Then, they take advantage of the usually good weather to take a walk in the countryside, known as 踏青 (tà qīng), hence another name for the festival — Taqing Festival.
Some people wear a willow twig on their heads to keep ghosts away. Another custom includes picking shepherd’s purse flower. Women also pick herbs and make dumplings with them and they also wear the shepherd’s purse flower in their hair.
Other traditional activities on Tomb Sweeping Day include playing tug-of-war and swinging on swings. It is also a good time for sowing and other agricultural activities, including planting willow trees.
In Hangzhou, major activities for celebrating Tomb Sweeping Day Festival include sweeping tombs and going on spring outings. During the Festival each year millions people offer sacrifices to their ancestors and sweep their family tombs. Cemeteries are becoming more popular as a result of reform and China's opening to the world. This is particularly so in the areas outside Hangzhou, such as Suzhou and Jiaxing. Each year, more than a million people stream to these places, spawning traffic jams.
During the Festival it has become fashionable to blend brome grass juice with the flours of glutinous rice, and then to make them into pastes. The pastes are rolled into pieces of wrappers and stuffed with sweet bean paste and jujube paste. The stuffed pastes are put into a steamer, the bottom of which is covered with reed leaves. The freshly steamed pastes are green, bright and attractive with an appealing aroma. This kind of paste is the most unique local snack of the Festival. The local people also have a penchant for porridge cooked with peach blossom petals. Fish, whether for offering sacrifices or for a family banquets is usually saury. Local people consider the green pastes to be an indispensable sacrifice to their ancestors.
fénmù 坟墓= tomb / grave
mùdì 墓地 = cemetery (which sounds exactly like mùdì 目的 = “goal”)
sǎomù 扫墓 = to sweep tombs
bài zǔxiān 拜祖先 = to pay respects to ancestors
shāo xiāng 烧香 = to burn incense
shāo zhū 烧猪 = roast pig
gānzhè 甘蔗 = sugar cane
fàng biānpào 放鞭炮 = set off firecrackers
qīng míng tuán 清明团 = green rice ball
China has been making efforts on waste sorting or waste recycling for decades, but there are still many problems yet to be solved. Eight cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou were considered national pilot cities for garbage sorting in 1998. Twenty years on, their efforts have not achieved the desired results. According to the People's Daily, the failure of garbage classification was due to three reasons: a lack of awareness from residents, misconduct from garbage workers and insufficient financial support.
According to a survey released by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment research center, 63.7 percent of people surveyed believe that the reason why they fail to sort the garbage is due to the lack of classified waste bins in their residential communities. 59.6 percent of people blame their behavior on the failure of city garbage disposal services, which mix all garbage together, leading people to think that there's no point in sorting.
Other reasons include that the residents don't know how to sort; they have no sense of accomplishment; they think sorting is complicated, exhausting and few people around them do it.
First Penalty in Hangzhou for Garbage Classification
On May 30th, 2019, Hangzhou Jianggan District officially imposed penalties for the classification of personal waste.
On the morning of May 30, Mr. Zhang, who lives in Caihe Street in Jianggan District, signed his name on the “Administrative Punishment Decision”. Jianggan District City Management Office fined Mr. Zhang for 50RMB because the garbage was misplaced.
Mr. Zhang became the first person in Hangzhou who was not properly sorting garbage and was subject to administrative punishment.
Shanghai Will Be the First City to Enforce Garbage Classification
Yes, starting from July 1st, 2019, Garbage Classification will be officially implemented in Shanghai!
Shanghai is going to be the pioneer city for waste sorting and recycling, which makes it the first city in China to publish harsh regulations on garbage sorting and recycling. The government has put out a list of categories for sorting waste including recyclable, hazardous, wet and dry. It also specified the punishments for individuals and companies that break the rules.
Fines for individual mixed garbage will be up to 200RMB
Fines for companies, organizations, and complex mixing of garbage will be up to 50,000RMB
For individuals, authorities will fine a maximum of 200RMB (about 29 U.S. dollars) for mixing the garbage, while companies and organizations that are in charge of garbage sorting, transporting, processing and management will be fined a maximum 50,000RMB (about 72,357 U.S. dollars).
The regulation will come into effect on July 1 and was passed by the people's congress of Shanghai municipal city on January 31, 2018.
Basically divided into four categories: Hazardous Waste, Recyclable Waste, Household Food Waste, and Residual Waste. Check out the colours and Chinese below:
These four categories are the major ones. How do we distinguish them? We explain each category for you, let’s start with Recyclable Waste.
Paper, plastic, scrap metal, glass bottles & containers, magazines, books & cardboard, clothes, fabric, toys, take-out or food delivery packaging
This is where your plastic bottles and containers go, unless they are dirty and can’t be cleaned, in which case, they go in the Residual Waste (干垃圾) bin. Pour out the liquid before you throw your drink bottles or food containers away. Rinse them with water and squash them. You’re doing the sanitation workers a huge favor by reducing the size and weight, and giving them a bit of dignity.
Cosmetic brands such as Kiehl's, Origins, M.A.C, Shiseido, and Innisfree can take your returned containers and reward you with small samples and membership points.
Household Food Waste
Food waste, expired food, shells & husk, dead plants, Chinese medicine
Anything type of food waste belongs in this category. The chicken bones from last night, the shells from your favourite spicy crayfish, shrimp, or crab, the plant you bought three months ago and is now dead, grape skin, fruit peels… but leftover milk or yogurt should be poured directly into your sink.
Most organic food waste belongs here, except things that are hard to break down, like big bones and coconut shells, which go in the Residual Waste (干垃圾) bin. Remember to remove the plastic from anything you put in these bins.
Anything else goes to Residual Waste.
Bottles or cans that are dirty and can’t be cleaned should go in the Residual Waste (干垃圾) bin. Things like face mask packaging, nail polish bottles, cotton sticks, toothbrushes, towels, used tissues, tampons, diapers, cigarette butts, plant pots, plastic wrap, yogurt or milk bottles (you need to empty the bottle first). Clean food packaging goes to Recyclable, dirty and used packaging goes to Residual Waste.
Waimai containers are incredibly hard to recycle, even the paper-based ones. These containers are often lined with polyethylene and tainted with food residue so they are very unpopular among garbage collectors -- it’s not worth their effort to wash them or separate the liners. The same goes for disposable coffee cups. This is a problem.
So here are the four steps we suggest you do. First, separate the clean paper/plastics and dirty containers. Leftover food →Household Food Waste Bin (湿垃圾); dirty containers →Residual Waste (干垃圾) bin; Clean bags → Recyclable (可回收物) bin.
Used batteries (rechargeable batteries, button batteries, batteries), paint cans, waste lamp, paint buckets, pesticides (there are residues that need to be sealed in advance and then disposed of), expired or discarded drugs, and other hazardous materials.
In newer residential areas, they are usually right next to the other bins, in red or with a red label. If you don’t have one in your neighborhood, talk to your local neighborhood management about options for disposal. That’s kind of mafan but we all need to do the best we can.
If you are wondering how many garbage bags you should have at home to handle daily waste, we have an idea for you to try.
More Options for Recyclable Waste
For books, Duozhuayu (多抓鱼) is great for selling and buying second-hand books. Funded by Tencent, Duozhuayu has a system that verifies and estimates the value of your books, and they will collect the books from you free of charge.
For clothes, take them back to the store, or take them to H&M. Clothing shops Uniqlo, H&M, and Zara all provide recycling services for used clothes from their own shops; H&M even accepts clothes from other brands.
Social enterprise Feimayi (飞蚂蚁) is at the forefront of online textile recycling in China and provides a free collection service for more than five kg of clothes. Also funded by Tencent, like Duozhuayu, it’s accessible via desktop and WeChat mini-program. Find the QR code by scrolling down on their website. Basic Chinese is needed to navigate the app and fill out the form.
Aihuishou (爱回收) is China’s largest platform for recycling and selling second-hand electronics. They have offline stores in shopping malls throughout the city.
Xianyu (闲鱼) is Taobao’s second-hand marketplace. Although not desktop-friendly, you can sell almost anything there. The platform is super active due to its sheer size. There is an amazing, incredible, wonderfully efficient and hugely profitable Buy & Sell section here.
Green Initiatives offers transparent waste management for e-waste, paper, and textile waste. They also have recycling bins at URBN hotel, Element Fresh, and many other private and public collection points around Shanghai. For home pick up, Feibao, a social enterprise that works with Green Iniatitives offers recycling service through WeChat.
The summer has finally hit us, and what beats a cold refreshing drink after work? We are going to teach you to make a few great cocktails. They are easy to do, and you can make them for your weekend home party, or to just please yourself after work. They are refreshing, tasty, and more important, they are easy to make. Everyone can be a bartender now.
However, before we go on to the drinks, here are a few things you need to prepare to be ready to start:
Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker Set
To make these drinks, you need to gear up your home bar, here is the basic set that can get you started.
To make sugar syrup simply bring the sugar and water to a boil until the sugar has dissolved, the proportion is 1:1. Put aside to cool.
Fresh Lemon Juice
Take 5-6 lemons to make the juice, and store in a bottle or glass that can be sealed. You can always use it, it’s very convenient.
Now let’s get your gear ready, shake, stir, and enjoy!
01 Vodka Based
Basil Ginger Drop
If you have been to Shanghai Citizen in Shanghai, you will never forget this drink, it got so famous because of its freshness and taste, and it’s really easy to make. Here we go.
60ml lemon juice
5mm / 0.2in of a knob of ginger – peeled and finely grated
4 basil sprigs – leaves only
40ml simple syrup* or 30ml agave nectar
6 ice cubes
Take 2 martini glasses and moisten their rim with the lemon wedge. Put the sugar on a small plate and gently roll the rim of the glass in it in order to cover the rim in sugar. Add the vodka, lemon juice, grated ginger, basil leaves and sugar syrup/agave nectar to your blender and blend until the basil has dissolved. Add the ice cubes to your mixture and blend until the ice cubes have dissolved. Pour into the sugar-rimmed martini glasses. Decorate with a basil sprig.
Grapefruit Moscow Mule
Moscow Mule is one of my favourite drinks, especially in summer time, the ginger flavour mixed with lemon, it’s so good, in this recipe, we will add some grapefruit.
180ml fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
180ml ginger beer
grapefruit wedges, for garnish
Pour grapefruit juice and vodka over ice. Top off glass with ginger beer, approximately 3 ounces per drink. Serve with grapefruit wedge.
02 Gin Based
Elderflower & Earl Grey Gin Fizz
This light and refreshing gin fizz provides a sweet but dry flavor, complemented by zingy citrus notes. The Elderflower & Earl Grey Gin Fizz recipe is as simple as it is delicious.
70ml Earl Grey infused Tanqueray Gin
50ml Lemon juice
30ml Elderflower syrup
30ml Simple syrup
Soda to top
Shake up the Earl Grey infused Tanqueray, lemon juice, Elderflower syrup and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Pour leisurely over ice in a cut glass highball, and strain soda over to fill to the top. Garnish with two folded lemon wheels & mint sprig.
Why isn’t this Prohibition-era recipe, a brilliant combination of gin and honey, more widely known? It’s delicious.
20ml runny honey (use the best you can, its flavour will shine)
30ml fresh lemon juice
Stir the honey into the water until dissolved to make a syrup. Pour into a cocktail shaker with the gin, lemon juice and a couple of ice cubes. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
03 Rum Based
60ml dark rum
120ml pineapple juice
30ml orange juice
30ml sweetened coconut cream (I used Coco Lopez)
5 ice cubes
freshly grated nutmeg
slice of lime, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut cream and 3 ice cubes. Shake for about 10 seconds and pour in a tall glass. Add additional ice cubes to the glass and top with freshly grated nutmeg. Garnish with slice of lime & a cocktail umbrella.
90ml white rum
50ml lime juice
30ml sugar syrup
mango (preferably fresh)
Add a small scoop of ice to the blender. Add remaining ingredients. Blend for approximately 30 seconds. Pour into a cocktail glass.
04 Tequila Based
90ml tanteo jalapeño-infused tequila
120ml of watermelon purée (purée pieces of watermelon in blender)
30ml fresh lime juice
45ml simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a glass, garnish with lime, and serve.
Put a spring in your step with this kick-in-the-pants Jalapeño Margarita recipe. The fresh lime juice will have you puckering up and, combined with triple sec and tequila, this spicy, savory and surprising margarita is guaranteed to bring the fire to your fiesta.
lime and kosher salt, to rim glass
2 cups ice cubes
90ml sweet and sour mix
30ml triple sec
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
½-inch piece of fresh jalapeño, remove seeds and slice
slices of jalapeños, for garnish
Moisten the rim of a margarita glass with lime and dip glass into kosher salt to coat rim. In a blender, combine ice cubes, Sweet and Sour Mix, tequila, triple sec, lime juice and 1/4-inch piece of fresh jalapeño. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared glass and garnish with jalapeño slice.
05 Whiskey Based
5 scoops French vanilla ice cream
Combine ingredients and blend together to create a boozy milkshake.
Blackberry Bourbon Smash
30ml lime juice, or 2 lime wedges, squeezed
12-14 mint leaves, muddled
4-6 blackberries, muddled
45ml simple syrup (1 tablespoon of sugar will do)
60ml club soda
2 cups of ice
In a Boston shaker, combine mint leaves, lime wedges and blackberries. Muddle until pulverized. Add bourbon, ice, and simple syrup and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Pour full contents into a rocks glass (no straining) and top with club soda. Stir and garnish with mint leaves and blackberry.
06 Wine Based
4 cups cubed watermelon
1750ml bottle moscato
1 cup rum
juice of 4 limes
zest of 2 limes
1 tbsp sugar
lime slices, for garnish
In a blender combine watermelon, moscato, rum, lime juice and zest, and sugar and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until chilled. Garnish glasses with lime slices and serve.
Raspberry Limoncello Prosecco
It’s wonderfully refreshing and sweet with all that bubbly goodness. You can also toss in some frozen raspberries or strawberries for that elegant touch – either way, these cocktails go perfectly for a summer party or an added bonus to get you through the week. And we promise you – we won’t judge you if you start sipping on this at 10AM!
3 cups prosecco, chilled
1 cup limoncello liqueur, chilled
1 cup frozen raspberries
6 sprigs fresh mint
In a large pitcher, whisk together Prosecco and Limoncello. Serve over raspberries, garnished with mint, if desired.
The remarkable growth of China’s technology and innovation in the international stage has demonstrated the country’s determination to become a global leader in the digital space. Mobile technology, as an innovation enabler, has become a focused area China hopes to command, particularly after its diversion from the global norms in the 3G and 4G era. Committing early in the standardization process will give China an edge to influence internationally and generate notable economic impact domestically.
5G has been put on high priority on the national agenda. The government has drawn up supporting policies under its national strategy including Made in China 2025 and the Five-Year Plan. Its 5G technology development is amongst the world’s largest 5G effort planned by a government.
The Information Era
China is one of the pioneers in 5G R&D, which sees the world’s first 5G test being guided and planned by the Government. It has already started the third phase of 5G technology R&D tests, ahead of schedule, where domestic and international companies have joined the field trials, aiming to get pre-commercial 5G products ready. China is aiming to launch commercial 5G service in 2019, bringing one year ahead its original schedule. It will put her among one of the first markets to launch 5G services, along with the US, Korea, Australia, and the UK.
ITU and the 3GPP just completed the standardization of the initial standalone mode for 5GNR in June 2018. This represents the first step toward the road to 5G. While the initial focus was to provide enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and introductory ultra-reliable low latency (URLLC) support, more use cases are expected to arise and to be addressed in the future Releases which is expected to be ready by end 2019.
All Chinese operators have announced plans to invest in 5G network deployment from 2019 onwards, and are building out 5G innovation centers and conducting external field tests in major cities with equipment suppliers in preparation for 5G. EY expects China’s 5G capex will amount to RMB1.5 trillion (US$223 billion) between 2019 and 2025.
Nevertheless, demand will build up progressively in the domestic market as it will be limited by the near-term supply of devices, equipment and compelling applications. Operators also will take a gradual approach in network deployment, thus implying a slower 5G take-up path than 4G. Adoption will take off as economies of scale builds up in the market. We expect 5G connections in China will reach 576 million by 2025, representing over 40% of that globally.
China is the world’s largest mobile market with some 1.5 billion subscribers, many holding multiple accounts. In the past, it has been slow to roll out the latest iterations of new mobile communications technology, preferring to wait for it to mature in more advanced Western markets.
The government originally planned to enter the full commercial licensing stage for 5G next year, but is likely to have been inspired to move faster due to increased attention the U.S. is devoting to the technology, industry insiders said. “Both China and the United States regard 5G as an important part of their national strategy,” one said. “American carriers have begun to use 5G commercially, and China is bound to exert its strengths.”
Although Beijing is not one of the five cities where China Mobile conducted scale trials in, it is still the fastest growing city in China Mobile and even nationwide in terms of 5G. “The number of base stations [in Beijing] is currently the largest in the country,” said Deng Wei, deputy director of the Institute of Wireless and Terminal Technology of China Mobile Research Institute. “All three rings have 5G coverage, and I hope it will cover all five rings by September".
On May 17th, China Mobile Beijing Company and Beijing-Hong Kong Metro Company jointly announced that Beijing Metro Line 16 has achieved full coverage of mobile 5G signals, which makes it the first subway line in China with full coverage of 5G signals.
In the 4G era, China's 4G base stations accounted for three-quarters of the world. According to Deng Wei's estimation, if the development is smooth, the future number of 5G base stations may even reach twice that of 4G base stations. This also means that in a short period of time, several major operators will face considerable investment pressure.
Facing the latest commercialization process in the beginning of next year, manufacturers such as OPPO, VIVO, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Nubia have launched mobile phones which support 5G networks in the first half of this year. However, the price of these mobile phones is basically more than 10,000RMB, and it’s much more than most users’ budget. Even OPPO Vice President Shen Yiren himself said: "This year's 5G mobile phones are only suitable for early adopters."
5G is the key to unlock other technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT), therefore providing tremendous potential in China that could not be underestimated. The Chinese government has incorporated the IoT in its 13th Five-Year Plan. On the massive IoT opportunities, 5G will see growing importance in the IoT field in the years to come, as there will be more data-intensive and complex IoT deployments where ubiquitous fast mobile connectivity becomes apparent. However, only when 5G coverage reaches scale will the IoT use case make sense in the market.
The Flip Side
Who doesn’t want faster, bigger (or smaller), more efficient? Take wireless mobile telecommunications. Our current broadband cellular network platform, 4G (or fourth generation), allows us to transmit data faster than 3G and everything that preceded. We can access information faster now than ever before in history. What more could we want? Oh, yes, transmission speeds powerful enough to accommodate the (rather horrifying) so-called Internet of Things. Which brings us to 5G. Whereas 4G has a fifty-millisecond delay, 5G data transfer will offer a mere one-millisecond delay–we humans won’t notice the difference, but it will permit machines to achieve near-seamless communication. Which in itself may open a whole Pandora’s box of trouble for us – and our planet.
However, here are some numbers to put the dangers of 5G into perspective: as of 2015, there were 308,000 wireless antennas on cell towers and buildings. That’s double the 2002 number. Yet 5G would require exponentially more, smaller ones, placed much closer together, with each emitting bursts of radiofrequency radiation (RFR)–granted, at levels much lower than that of today’s 4G cell towers–that will be much harder to avoid because these towers will be ubiquitous. If we could see the RFR, it would look like a smog that’s everywhere, all the time.
It’s important to know that in 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified RFR as a potential 2B carcinogen and specified that the use of mobile phones could lead to specific forms of brain tumors.
Many studies have associated low-level RFR exposure with a litany of health effects, including:
DNA single and double-strand breaks (which leads to cancer)
Oxidative damage (which leads to tissue deterioration and premature ageing)
Disruption of cell metabolism
Increased blood-brain barrier permeability
Melatonin reduction (leading to insomnia and increasing cancer risks)
Disruption of brain glucose metabolism
Generation of stress proteins (leading to myriad diseases)
As mentioned, the new 5G technology utilizes higher-frequency MMW bands, which give off the same dose of radiation as airport scanners. The effects of this radiation on public health have yet to undergo the rigours of long-term testing. Adoption of 5G will mean more signals carrying more energy through the high-frequency spectrum, with more transmitters located closer to people’s homes and workplaces–basically a lot more (and more potent) RFR flying around us. It’s no wonder that apprehension exists over potential risks, to both human and environmental health.
But what’s also important to note here is that the danger of 5G technology can not only have a profound impact on human health, but on the health of all living organisms it touches, including plants, as we shall see.
Equally disturbing, 5G technology puts environmental health at risk in a number of ways. First, MMWs may pose a serious threat to plant health. Second, the 5G infrastructure would pose a threat to our planet’s atmosphere. Third, 5G will potentially threaten natural ecosystems.
The Dragon Boat Festival, also often known as Duanwu Festival, is a traditional holiday originating in China, occurring near the summer solstice. It is also known as Zhongxiao Festival (Chinese: 忠孝節; pinyin: Zhōngxiàojié), commemorating fealty and filial piety. The festival now occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of Chinese lunisolar calendar, which is the source of the festival's alternative name, the Double Fifth Festival. It’s famous for the races held on that day in traditional paddled long boats, each ornamented with a dragon’s head at the prow.
The roots of Dragon Boat Festival are most often traced back to the suicide of scholar-official Qu Yuan in China’s Warring States period, an era of division and strife that gave way to unification under “First Emperor” Qin Shi Huang in the third century B.C.
As a minister in the State of Chu - one of the seven Warring States, Qu Yuan was a patriotic poet who wrote a lot of works to show his care and devotion to his country. Composing masterpieces like Li Sao (The Lament), he was regarded as one of the greatest poets in Chinese history. After he was exiled by the king, he chose to drown himself in the river rather than seeing his country invaded and conquered by the State of Qin. He died on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, thus people decided to commemorate him on that day every year.
Although it has been a part of Chinese culture for centuries, Dragon Boat Festival has changed names more than a few times, and has fallen in and out of favor with the authorities. However, it wasn’t until 2008 that the Dragon Boat Festival was recognized as a traditional and statutory public holiday in the People's Republic of China. Dragon Boat Festival has made a big comeback in the People’s Republic, propelled by a government that has sought to reposition itself as the defender of Chinese tradition rather than its destroyer.
The most iconic of these is a sticky rice dumpling known as zongzi in Mandarin. Boiled or steamed inside a sheath of bamboo or lotus leaves, they’re known and enjoyed in all corners of the Chinese-speaking world.
Local variations on the filling, however, can lead to bitter debates. Zongzi in northern China are filled with sweet red bean paste or taro, while the southern variety contain cured pork belly, sausage, mushrooms and other savories.
Taiwanese varieties feature the likes of salted eggs, peanuts, chestnuts and squid.
In recent years, the fashion has been for luxe varieties, some of which can be extremely expensive.
Dragon Boat Race
Dragon boats are thus named because the fore and stern of the boat is in a shape of traditional Chinese dragon. A team of people works the oars in a bid to reach the destination before other teams. One team member sits at the front of the boat beating a drum in order to maintain morale and ensure that the rowers keep in time with one another. Legend holds that the race originates from the idea of the people who rowed their boats to save Qu Yuan after he drowned himself. Now it has turned to be a sport event not only held in China, but also observed in Japan, Vietnam, and Britain.
The best places to experience the dragon boat races during the festival are:
1 Yueyang International Dragon Boat Race:
Miluo River Dragon Boat Race Center, Yueyang, Hunan
2 Zigui Dragon Boat Racing:
Xujiachong Bay, Zuigui County, Yichang, Hubei
3 Miao People’s International Canoe Festival:
Qingshui River, Guizhou
4 Hangzhou Xixi Dragon Boat Race:
Xixi Wetland Park
The 3-day holiday of Dragon Boat Festival usually gives rise to travel crowds in China. You’d better avoid this period when making a travel plan, or you need to make an early-bird booking for hotels, air and train tickets
Imagine a garden where roses stretch out before you in a sea as far as the eye can see, carved out from a backdrop of tea fields and bamboo groves, the heavenly, sweet scent of roses enveloping you in a fragrant cloud. Imagine going back to simpler times when you can fall asleep looking up at a sky full of stars and wake up at daybreak to the melodious cacophony of lively roosters. An enchanting place where friendly dogs roam around freely, joined at times by a stoic horse, fluffy llama and a preening white peacock.
Fortunately, there’s no need to stay in the realm of imagination, the dream has been brought to life at Jennifer Ji’s Four Seasons Rose Garden in Daixi (埭溪), less than 45 minutes from Hangzhou.
How the Rose Garden Came to Be
The roses at Seasons Rose Garden come from all over the world, over 500 species from Bulgaria, France, England, Japan, etc. Jennifer would collect rose cuttings while on vacation in different lands then bring them home to carefully grow in her garden. Friends would also send her rose cuttings from different countries. Over the next 4 years, Jennifer’s rose garden slowly began to take shape, a labour of love.
Most of the roses seemed to be vintage varieties which are highly prized for their fragrance. There are fuchsia coloured rosa rugusa shrubs, a crimson coloured Louis XIV specimen, peachy quartered roses and cream coloured shallow cups. I didn’t know the names or histories of all the roses I encountered, but what’s in a name? I can assure you they all smelled as sweet.
Roses were not the first thing on Jennifer’s mind when she was given the opportunity to develop this 500-acre piece of land. She first thought about growing herbs such as lavender, since she had already developed a status as the “Essential Oil Queen of China” with her acquisition of French aromatherapy brand Lampe Berger in 2014.
Hangzhou residents may also be familiar with J Spa, her elegant beauty spa on Yangongdi next to West Lake which has been bringing a supreme level of relaxation to clients for over 11 years.
Then it was found that herbs did not grow so well on this land but roses thrived. As Jennifer delved further into roses, she discovered an interesting fact - roses originally came from China and they were first cultivated in China 5,000 years ago. It is poetic then that Jennifer has brought roses from around the world back to their origins, to grow here in her garden. Her goal is to create the most comprehensive rose garden in China for future generations to enjoy the beauty of the rose in all their captivating varieties, colours and scents.
A Lady and Her Vision
The Rose Garden is still taking shape but foremost, it will be a happy, spiritual place where people can come to unplug, spend time in nature with friends and family and let go of stress and anxiety.
“ We work very hard in these modern times, so we must also enjoy and relax to the fullest, by indulging all 5 of our senses. My ultimate ideal treat is to slip into a warm bath scented with roses and essential oils, surrounded by flickering candles with meditative music playing… and also drinking a glass of red wine! Then all the worries of the day would dissolve away!"
“ I wanted that more people can experience that kind of enjoyment and that’s why I created J Spa, a beautiful, calm space where people can go to clear their mind."
“ But you know a spa treatment can be expensive and not everyone can afford that. My next plan is to create mini-spa treatments that everyone can afford, especially today’s students and young workers who are under a lot of stress. I want to let them experience that relaxation and enjoyment too. They greatly need to relieve their pressure and they are the future of China. I want to do something to support them.”
Luxurious Rose Facial for Just 99RMB
“ I always tell my beauty estheticians to treat every customer with the utmost care and love, like they are a family member. The customer has trusted us with their valuable time and money, they come to us to get relief from their daily stress and we owe it to them to do our best to relieve their pressures and worries. Regardless if they pay thousands of yuan or 99 yuan, we will give them the same level of treatment."
Jennifer’s words were proven true as I went to the mini-spa at Seasons Rose Garden to experience their 99RMB, 30-minute rose facial. The esthetician’s delicate, reverential touch and gentle soothing voice are more likely to be found in spa treatments 10 times this price.
Throughout the facial, the esthetician explained the steps that she was doing. First beginning with a ritual to deeply inhale essential oils, followed by cleansing, prepping my skin with pure rose water that protects against free radicals, applying a rose essential oil that quickly penetrates into the skin to repair and revitalize and then massaging my face to drain the lymph nodes of toxins. Next she applied a sheet mask infused with the potency of 52 roses.
While my face was absorbing the nutrients from the mask, she massaged my neck, shoulders and did that favourite maneuver of mine where she carefully nudged her fingers under my back till they were between my shoulder blades then she lifted up with her fingers and held for a moment, arching my back. Ahhhhh….tensions melting away! I even drifted off into a restful sleep, all the while inhaling the divine fragrance of roses.
After removing the mask, she gently patted the essence into my skin and applied a rose moisturizing cream. The 30 minutes felt more like an hour because of all the intricate steps performed and the level of relaxation reached. My face felt refreshed, hydrated and soft as velvet.
The rose products used in the facial were developed by Jennifer and are all-natural, gentle and non-irritating. I have been dealing with eczema on my face recently, which makes my skin sensitive and prone to allergic reactions, and the products did not cause me any problems. The rose water is even so pure and gentle that you can spray some in your eyes and it won’t hurt.
That rose water was actually developed in co-operation with Paris Hilton and is marketed under her brand as “Paris Hilton Limited Edition Unicorn Mist”. On Paris’ website, it says that ‘this is the exact rose water extract spray that Paris uses to keep her skin glowing and fresh all day long!’
In the coming year, Jennifer plans to open mini-spas around China offering these facials as well. I told her that when the Hangzhou mini-spa opens, I will be the first customer lined up and will get a facial every day!
Future Events and Directions
Besides coming to get a facial, there will be many cool events happening at the rose garden in the future and More Magazine will be sure to tell you the details as soon as we get them. Coming up around May 20 will be a celebration for the International Rose Culture Festival. It’ll be a great time to visit as the roses will still be in bloom. I can’t wait to get back there myself, walk around the roses and be immersed in that lovely, natural perfume.
To get to the Seasons Rose Garden, take the high-speed train from Hangzhou East station to Deqing Station, a 13 minute ride, then grab a taxi or arrange a Didi to drive 30 more minutes to the garden.