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Ceremony held in Quzhou to celebrate start of spring
国务院新闻办公室网站 www.scio.gov.cn   2019-02-05   来源:China.org.cn
  

On Chinese New Year's Eve on Feb. 4, a ceremony was held in Miaoyuan village of Quzhou city to celebrate the beginning of spring.

Located in China's eastern Zhejiang province, Miaoyuan village is the world's only place that fully preserves the convention of paying tribute to the God of Spring. The day also marked the Beginning of Spring in the "24 Solar Terms," namely 24 periods and climate governing agricultural arrangements in ancient China. The Solar Terms were inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2016.

"I like ploughing and it's such a pleasant honor to act as the farmer that whips the ox," said 63-year-old Xu Mingren. "I come here to see the rituals every year and it's great to play a part in it." Xu and 11-year-old Huang Hao were each playing the roles of a farmer and a shepherd boy, working a farm cattle with big red cloth-made flowers tied to its horns. They performed the ritual of the first plough in the spring, which symbolized the earnest hope of good weather for the crops and a good harvest.

"It's so exciting to be here seeing all those rituals! Marvelous!" said Lee from South Africa. This was his first time celebrating Chinese New Year with local people. More than 10 million people watched the livestream of the celebration through platforms including the CCTV News App, the website of CGTN, Weibo, Jinri Toutiao, etc.

"The villagers here continue to perform the traditional ritual of paying tribute to the God of Spring, including offering sacrifices to the God of Spring, worshipping the land, whipping the ox, and eating vegetables," said Liu Kuili, a member of the Honorary Department of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and honorary president of the Chinese Folk Society. He said the etiquette and custom activities of the past days have gradually evolved into a folk culture, which is not only a cultural accumulation, but also shows the cultural self-confidence of the local villagers.

Local villager Gong Yuanlong gave visitors a tour of the spring cake house. "It used to be a worn-out factory making New Year cakes, but now it has totally changed thanks to our culture," Gong said. With purple sweet potato, spinach, fragrant rice, sticky rice and mountain spring water, villagers now make diversified types and colors of New Year cakes, which are being sold in many places across China.

To boost cultural development, the local government has invited well-known domestic designers to help its villagers with cultural and creative industries. In recent years, many modern village inns have been set up, which has not only provided more jobs for older folk artists and surplus labor force, but also expanded spending on cultural products and boosted country tours.

"We want to activate the traditional culture and make our countryside more beautiful," said Xu Lishui, secretary of the CPC Kecheng District Committee.

[责任编辑:郑成琼 ]
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