During Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, China’s urban areas gradually become more deserted as people return to their native provinces and hometowns to celebrate the new year with their family and friends.
Many of those returning home are migrant workers, who struggle to make money all year long and often only return home during the Spring Festival.
‘Chunyun’ (春运), the Chinese term for the passenger transportation around Chinese New Year, is the biggest annual mass migration of the world. The travel season has kicked off this weekend and will last until approximately March 12. About 2.98 billion trips are expected to be made during the chunyun, Chinese state media reports.
With so many people on the move, it is easy to detect what objects and products are the trend or the ‘chunyun magical tool’ (春运神器). After the travel pillow with earphones, or the underwear with money pockets, this season’s hot item is the paint bucket.
After one netizen named ‘Little Grass’ (@小小草) first noted the trend, various (media) accounts on Weibo, such as that of the Communist Youth League Shanghai, have starting reporting about it; the paint bucket has become such a popular product that some people are even taking more than two dozen with them.
Travelers have discovered that the big, plastic, empty painting buckets are very useful both during their travels and back home. As stations, trains, and buses get overcrowded during the chunyun, it is often impossible to find a seat – the paint buckets serve as an excellent ‘stool’, or as a ‘table’.
The buckets are also a solid and easy-to-carry ‘trunk’ to hold traveler’s articles during transit. They’re especially popular to put eggs in – because they won’t break as easily in the bucket – or to transport large volumes of rice.
Plastic buckets are also a popular item to bring home to the rural areas because they can be used to store (animal) food and feed the pigs or to hold liquid to water the crops.
Because the buckets are cheap, light, and easy to stack, people can bring home many of them – enough to give away to family members and neighbors in their hometowns.
On Weibo, the latest paint bucket trend has set a discussion in motion, receiving thousands of comments.
“These buckets are strong and practical, my family uses them as garbage bins,” one commenter writes. Other people praise the multifunctional item for being eco-friendly in its re-use.
Some people note that the bucket trend is nothing new: “My dad has been using them for years.”
“Nothing but good stuff to say about these buckets,” one other person says: “They’re durable and will last for years!”
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“Moonlight Fairy”, the 88-Year-Old Taiwan Grannie with a Unique Sense of Style
There is no age limit when it comes to style. This is something that is especially apparent when looking at the Taiwanese ‘Moonlight Fairy’, an 88-year-old grandmother with a unique sense of style.
The 88-year-old Linzhuang Yueli (林莊月里) from Taiwan likes to be called “Moonlight Fairy” (月光仙子). She has a mix and match fashion style that is more trendy than that of many people decades younger than her – she even makes oversized IKEA shopping bags and DHL tshirts look cool.
Photos of the grandmother, whose social media handle is ‘@moonlin0106’, were shared on Weibo by various fashion accounts, praising the woman’s cool style.
Moonlight Fairy currently has nearly 70,000 followers on her Instagram account, where she posted her first photo on May 15 this year.
Linzhuang likes to shop at second-hand stores and mixes various brands, but she especially has a preference for Adidas.
On Weibo, many people said: “I wanna look like this when I am that age.”
Some netizens also commented that a unique fashion style is not always understood. “I also bought that IKEA shirt and wore it,” one person said: “Then my teacher asked if I work there.”
Others also asked about where to buy clothes worn by Moonlight Fairy.
“I can only say: her style is extremely cool!”
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Ageless Fashion – China’s “Goddess Granny” Huang Yanzhen
The 73-year-old Huang Yanzhen from Xiamen has become a media sensation in China. With her unique style and young spirit, she is a fashion inspiration to many.
The 73-year-old Huang Yanzhen (黄炎贞) has become a Chinese internet celebrity after her fashion photos were shared amongst netizens, who nicknamed her “Goddess Granny” (女神奶奶).
“Age is nothing but a number,” is what Huang told Chinese media.
The fashionista stood out when she participated in China’s Second Qipao Competition in Xiamen in December of 2015 (the qipao is a traditional, stylish one-piece Chinese gown). She also played in the short movie “Remember the Younger Years” (忆芳华).
Her story drew the attention of photographer Xiaoye Jessie (@小野杰西), who made the series of photos that became popular on Chinese media.
They shot over 1000 photos, and although the process was tiring, Huang said she found it important to do because she wanted to show that “the lives of China’s elder people can still be brilliant,” and that they have the right to “pursue their dreams and lead the lives they want to live”.
Earlier this year, photographer Xiaoye Jessie also shared a photo shoot with a male older model on his Weibo account.
According to photographer Xiaoye Jessie, as he wrote in his blog: “If life is like a book, then age is like a page number. When opening every new page and reading it, it will always bring people new surprises.”
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