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Spring Festival in Zhouzhuang

chinadaily.com.cn Updated: 2014-01-21 17:27:48

The beautiful and peaceful city of Zhouzhuang not only houses preserved residences and bridges from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, but also boasts ancient Spring Festival customs and culture. If you want to have a different New Year’s holiday, come to Zhouzhuang and spend a special Spring Festival here!

Zhouzhuang’s Spring Festival is special because of the culture of the god of wealth. According to the legend, Shen Wansan was born in Zhouzhuang during the Ming Dynasty. He was known as the god of wealth for his fortune. To pray for the blessing of the god of wealth, Zhouzhuang holds a giant sacrificial ceremony on the fifth day of Lunar New Year every year.

When you visit Zhouzhuang during Spring Festival, you can join in the ceremony and pray for luck and prosperity in the New Year.

Little New Year, which falls about a week before Lunar New Year, is also known as the Festival of the Kitchen God, the deity who oversees the moral character of each household. On that day, Zhouzhuang will hold a sacrificial ceremony for the kitchen god at Shen’s House, the residence of Shen Wansan’s descendants.

DIY New Year’s rice cake

Visitors can make New Year’s rice cakes by themselves at Shen’s House. Making and eating New Year’s rice cakes is also a traditional way to pray for luck in the New Year.

Burning incense on New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve in Zhouzhuang, like most regions of China, includes a family reunion dinner. Relatives will stay up late and set off fireworks. What’s more, the local people in Zhouzhuang will burn incense in Quanfu Temple after midnight. People write down their wishes on red silk ribbons and tie them in front of the temple to pray for peace and prosperity in the coming year.

Beating spring ox on the first day of Lunar New Year

In the beginning of the New Year, local people in Zhouzhuang will hold a traditional ritual of beating a spring ox to pray for the country’s prosperity and peace, as well as good weather for crops.

The festival of the god of wealth

The festival of the god of wealth falls on the fifth day of the Lunar New Year, which is an important day after New Year’s Eve. Starting in the early morning on the day, every household will set off firecrackers. It is said that the first people to set off firecrackers will be lucky and invite the god of wealth into their home.

Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival is another highlight of Zhouzhuang’s New Year. During Lantern Festival, Zhouzhuang is not only decorated with lanterns, but also illuminated by fireworks and lanterns on boats shuttling across the river. Visitors can participate in a riddle contest with local people. The winner will be awarded a big prize, which is regarded as an auspicious sign during the start of the New Year.


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