This rural scene presents typical activities of a New Year’s Day in which relatives and friends approach the house to convey their good wishes to the elders. Two boys in the courtyard light fire crackers, and servants in front of the main gate beat the gong to announce the guests. Inside the house, the hosts entertain their guests by offering hot wine and by writing New Year couplets to be hung on the gates welcoming the New Year. White cherry blossoms announce the spring. The water village at Stone Lake is characteristic of the Jiangnan region in southeast China. Born in Suzhou, the artist Li Shida may have even had his hometown in mind when he produced this painting.
Credit Line: Text courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art.