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Nanjing Folk Cultures

After Qing Dynasty, people still keep the custom of enjoying the full moon on the Mid-Autumn Day. They display fresh fruits and moon cakes, light “flavor cup” (flavors are made into a shape of tower with paper cup on it), tell the story called “Chang'e's Flying to the Moon” and share moon cakes which are of different types.

In the evening of the night, there is a custom for women in Nanjing to “Mo Qiu” which means women go to the Jasmine Garden to “steal” melons and fruits for their men. This game has a long history. In recent 20 years, people pay great attention to the Mid-Autumn day by enjoying the full moon on the Tai Town Walls or go boating on the Xuanwu Lake or the Qinhuai River. Moon cakes bought by people themselves or given by their organizations are very popular and love is all round.

Double Ninth Festival (Chongyang Jie)

According to the name, this festival falls on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month. Since 9 is a number of “Yang”, it is called “Chong Yang” (double Yang). People in Nanjing from the ancient times go out to climb mountains this day. The “climbing mountains gathering” stems from a strange legend about repelling evil spirits and it is recorded in the “Xu Qi Story” written by Wu Jun, Liang of Southern Dynasties. The Double Ninth Festival is blooming from Wei and Jin Dynasties, Southern and Northern Dynasties to Ming and Qing Dynasty. During the time, many places are suitable for climbing, such as Yu Hua Tai in the southern Nanjing, Beiji Pavilion in the middle of Nanjing and Mu Fu Mountain in the northern Nanjing. There is a pavilion on the Mu Fu Mountain built in Han Dynasty called “Loong Transformed Pavilion” because when the Jinyuan Emperor was crossing the river by horse, the horse transformed into a Loong which helped him go across the river successfully. Besides, On one side of the mountain, there is a Bodhidharma Cave of Liang Dynasty where has been visited by lots of tourists. In 1805, a “River Watching Tower” was built on the mountain by militaries and it was initiated by Hu Lanchuan, prefecture chief in feudal China and other government officials as well as some social celebrities. Lights of the tower are on during nights which can not only be guide of boats and ships but also become a wonderful place for enjoying the view. People considered it as a good deed.

On the Double Ninth Festival, Nanjing people like to eat Chongyang cakes with meat inside, drink daisy wine and enjoy chrysanthemum flowers. Moreover, people make Chongyang flags to their children. If a girl is getting married this day, her parents have to give her Chongyang flags and fresh food preservation boxes which is called “boxes of Chongyang Jie”.

Nowadays, people still climb mountains on the Double Ninth Festival for enjoying grand views of China rather than repel evil spirits.

Tourist Festival of Four Seasons Nowadays

Spring—Nanjing International Plum Blossom Festival. The Plum Blossom is the city flower of Nanjing. Enjoying plum blossoms is a custom of Nanjing since the six dynasties. At present, people can enjoy plum blossoms in the Pearl Spring Park, Fu Jia Bian and Gu Lin Park, etc. But the best place is the Plum Blossom Mountain. The International Plum Blossom Festival is held in Nanjing every year from the end of February to the middle of March. Over 400,000 people join in the activities.

Summer—Grape Festival of Jiang Xin Island. Jiang Xin Island is an island in the southern part of western Nanjing in the Yangtze River with beautiful sceneries. Every July and August, when thousand of acres on the island are full of rich grapes, tourists come to have fun by picking up grapes themselves and enjoy the natural Oxygen bar.

Autumn—Rain Flower Stone Festival. The rain flower stone is one of the symbols of Nanjing. In every golden September, a series of activities are held in the Yu Hua Tai scenic area, such as “It rains rain flowers” performance, top quality rain flowers exhibition, symposiums and picking stones tour, etc. Liu He county, place of origin of rain flower stones, carry out activities at the same time.

Winter—Listening to Bells for The New Year. This activity is usually held in the bell tower of the Qi Xia Temple. Masters (a courteous address for Buddhists or Taoist priests) will chant scriptures to pray for peace and a stable society. And the host/hostess together with a representative of guests will toll the bell 108 times. The whole place is full of joy and harmony.

Key Words

Tea   West Lake   

Temple      Su Dongpo 


Fans   Embroidery


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