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Spring Festival in Shanxi

Updated: 2014-01-07 13:17:29

Festival falls on every month in Taiyuan region in ancient times. However, Spring Festival is the most solemn and jollified festival with the most intense flavors.

After "sacrificing to the Kitchen God", every family would be busy making preparations every day until the afternoon of New Year's Eve. In this afternoon, they would clean the outdoor area for another time, neaten new clothes and caps, make dumpling, and prepare incense, lamp and other articles which are used to greet gods.

Spring Festival lasted for many days in ancient times until Tiancang Festival which falls on the 25th day of the first lunar month. The first five days in the first lunar month is traditionally called "Breaking five days"; saying goes that "Never leaving home in the five days" and that "the sixth day is propitious to go out" . Therefore, businessmen would open business and people would begin to visit relatives from the sixth day on.

In mountainous regions in Gujiao city, people would hang up ancestors' memorial tablets on New Year's Eve. Every family in a clan would display an offering before the tablets; the family to which a boy is born in the year would offer a chicken, and the family to which a girl is born would offer a kettle of alcohol.

In Qingxu county and the neighboring region, people would prepare "Chinese Date Hill" (a kind of steamed food made of flour and Chinese date) before Spring Festival and other festivals.

In Datong region, abundant reserve of coal has a necessary bearing on the locals' basic necessities of life. On New Year eve, every family would pile up a tower with large blocks of coal in front of the courtyard. Such tower is called "Fierce Fire", implying good luck and prosperity all the year round.


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