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The rise of modern ceremonies

By Meng Wenjie | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-05-29 07:47
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At her 27th birthday celebration in May, Li Xinran (third from right) and her friends dress in accordance with their MBTI personality types. CHINA DAILY

Young adults are embracing creative and personalized celebrations to inject a sense of ceremony into their daily lives, Meng Wenjie reports.

On March 13, Liu Jiaxian, a reporter working in Beijing, celebrated her 29th birthday with friends at a McDonald's themed birthday party — a party dedicated solely to her.

Despite making a reservation three days in advance, Liu found that the McDonald's locations popular for birthday parties in Beijing were already fully booked. "The staff told us that more people in their 20s are choosing McDonald's birthday celebrations over kids nowadays," she said.

After finally securing a spot, Liu selected the theme "Best Friends Forever".

During the 90-minute event, the staff arranged games that allowed them to reconnect with their inner child. Liu believes that many young adults still hold this spirit but often suppress it in their daily lives. Celebrating birthdays this way gives them a chance to express themselves freely.

"I felt like I wasn't just celebrating another year of life but also rediscovering the pure joy of playing with friends from my childhood. I truly enjoyed the 'sense of ceremony' this party brought," she said.

On the eve of International Children's Day, which falls on Saturday, these young adults want to demonstrate that celebrations are not just for kids. Instead, the concept of a "sense of ceremony" has become essential in the lives of many young people, enabling them to express their individuality and showcase their personalities.

According to a survey conducted by China Youth Daily's Social Survey Center in June 2023, involving 1,334 young participants, 90.9 percent actively incorporate a sense of ceremony into their daily lives, with 57 percent stating that embracing celebrations reflects a person's passion for life.

Li Xinran is one of these individuals. In May, she celebrated her 27th birthday with friends, introducing a unique dress code: guests were requested to dress according to their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality types.

"The MBTI personalities align with our true characters and how we interact with one another, so everyone was very excited during the preparations," she explained.

This dress code tradition in the group began last October. Due to their busy schedules, Li and her friends struggled to find time to socialize, so they decided to plan a specific activity for their gatherings. "The dress code makes us look more like a team. We use this approach to celebrate our time together and create more memorable experiences," Li said.

While many young people enjoy organizing their own celebrations, some prefer to delegate the task to professionals, leading to the rise of "party planners" as a growing industry in recent years.

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