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Shangsi Festival

2014-04-01 11:12:20



College students in Han costumes celebrate Shangsi Festival in Southeast University in Nanjing, capital of southeast China's Jiangsu province, March 30, 2014. [ Bo]

The calligrapher Wang Xizhi from the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420 AD) wrote in his Preface to the Collection of Lanting Poems about how those literary men took a bath and composed poetry while drinking from the drifting cups along the winding river.

In the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), the emperor would treat his followers beside the river. And common people would enjoy drinking and sight-seeing. People in the Chang’an area would also watch cricket-fighting.

After the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368AD-1911AD), the ritual activities were gradually omitted, and the festival developed into a spring outing featuring lively activities like drifting cups, drifting eggs, drifting dates, stone throwing, wearing willow-wreath, hiking and eating glutinous rice and antiphonal.

As the Shangsi Festival happens close to the Clear and Bright Festival, many young people today only know something about the latter but have no idea about the former.

Shangsi Festival is also a day that is traditionally considered to be the possible birthday of the Yellow Emperor.

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