Last Night of Spring Festival

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Last Night of Spring Festival
(To the tune "Saphire Jade Plate" )

        Xin Qiji 1140-1207

In east wind darkness 
        fireworks blossom
                like a thousand trees,
Then scatter down as star-like rain.
Fragrance from
        stallion drawn vulture carriage
                fills the road,
Notes from a Phoenix flute 
        hover in the air.
The moon
        a jade winecup
As for one night 
        lanterns dance in the breeze.
Her soft moth eyebrows
         like snowflakes
               on golden earings,
She chatters happily
        I sense her light perfume.
In this crowd
        I've searched for her
                a hundred times,
Then suddenly
        I wheel around
                and here she is!
In this very spot
        where lanterns fade.

Yuánxī Qīngyù'àn
Xīn Qìjí 1140-1207

Dōngfēng Yè Fànghuā Qiānshù
Gèng chuī luò
Xīng rú yǔ.
Bǎo mǎdiāochē xiāng mǎn lù
Fèngxiāo shēng dòng.
Yùhú guāng zhuǎn
Yī yè yúlóng wǔ.
Éér xuěliǔ huángjīn lǚ
Xiàoyǔyíngyíng ànxiāng qù.
Zhòng lǐ xún tā qiānbǎidù
Nà rén què zài!
Dēnghuǒ lánshān chù.
Translator: Dongbo 東波

This is Xin Qiji's most famous 詞 ci or lyric poem. It recounts the persitant search for a lover on the closing night of the Spring Festival when people whent out in a moon and lantern lit night and danced together. Perhaps the feeling was somewhat like a restrained Confucian Mardi Gras. It is no longer the custon today to dance at the end of the Spring Festival.

百度 Baidu, the famous Chinese internet company takes its name from this 12th century lyric and the poem is displayed on their website. Robin Li, the Founder and CEO of Baidu comments;

"Many people have asked about the meaning of our name. "Baidu" was inspired by a poem written more than 800 years ago during the Song Dynasty. The poem compares the search for a retreating beauty amid chaotic glamour with the search for one's dream while confronted by life's many obstacles. ".hundreds and thousands of times, for her I searched in chaos, suddenly, I turned by chance, to where the lights were waning, and there she stood." Baidu, whose literal meaning is hundreds of times, represents persistent search for the ideal."

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