Traditional Chinese calendars are making a comeback among millennials

Updated 2018-01-05 15:31:06

A page from the Palace Museum calendar (Photos/Courtesy of the interviewees and Qi Xijia/GT)

After a long silence, traditional Chinese paper calendars seem to have made a robust comeback in 2018, but with a new look and a large number of young fans. Gone are the days when paper calendars were filled with "superstitious content" such as imagery of the God of Wealth and daily fortunes. What is now being placed on the desks of many white-collar Chinese - and being shown off on their WeChat moments - are upgraded "calendar books" with more modern and pertinent themes ranging from physical and mental wellness advice to encyclopedia excerpts.

I love, I love, I love my Chinese calendar

Almost like art books, these calendar books are beautifully illustrated and delicately bound and printing. The intricate design and layout is the exact opposite of the old, simple paper calendars, injecting more culture and individualized expression to cater to the aesthetic tastes and personalized needs of Chinese millennials.

One of the more popular calendars is the Palace Museum, which features luxurious illustrations of cultural relics and imperial collections at the Palace Museum in Beijing. The nature-themed Plants and Animals calendar, which is also quite popular, introduces one new species per week with illustrations and factual information.

Beginning with the 2016 China Central Television (CCTV) television program Chinese Poetry Conference and the museum-themed TV show National Treasure, many say that last year and this year are witnessing a Chinese cultural renaissance following several years of tech-obsessed content. The new calendars are a symbol of China's renewed love of its own history and traditions.

For 2018, Shanghai resident Qian Jie bought herself the Palace Museum calendar. "On one hand, the design of the calendar is full of Chinese aesthetics, and on the other hand it is very practical and functional, introducing new cultural relics on each page," she told the Global Times.

Zhang Xin, a civil servant working in Shanghai, agrees. This year he purchased an "old almanac" that focuses on traditional Chinese medicine, the laws of ancient times, the 24 Solar Terms and what one is supposed to do and not supposed to do on that day.

"I think it is a good way to preserve and spread traditional Chinese culture, making it more down to earth for ordinary people, like having new buds and sprouts from an old tree."

Inspiring and educational

An Xuan, who is self-employed, bought a calendar book displaying China's lunar calendar, as her iPhone calendar only showcases the solar calendar.

"As a lover of traditional culture, I pay much attention to the lunar calendar," said An, adding that while her iPhone is more practical and convenient to record appointments, a paper calendar makes a nice desk decoration and adds some aesthetic feeling to her daily life.

Peggy Liu, who works in the advertisement industry, bought her first calendar book this year. "You tear off one page after a day's work and you feel the time go through your finger, which makes you want to spend each day more seriously," Liu said.

Her calendar features famous quotes and illustration from classic Chinese literature and art. "It feels great to begin your day with an inspiring quote. You feel like every day you are greeted by a new face. You won't get that same good feeling from a phone screen," Liu told the Global Times.

An, whose personal hobby is flower arrangements and gardening, also purchased a calendar illustrated with different flora species along with explanations of what each flower symbolically stands for.

See Also

Most Popular

Sky Running Comes to Asia

This February saw the first ever Asian Sky Running Championship race come to Hong Kong. The competition is one of the most physically demanding a runner can put their body through.

Travel Videos

Photo Gallery

Worship Season in Lhasa

Lhasa, capital city of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, has entered the worship season. Buddhists from across Tibet come to the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple for worship.

Hello Kitty Theme Park Opens in Zhejiang

The first Hello Kitty theme park outside Japan officially opened on Thursday, the first day of the year in the Anji county, Huzhou city, East China's Zhejiang province.

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords