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Festivities galore as locals usher in Chinese New Year

It’s the time of year again, time to get around the tables overflowing with dishes, enjoy the sweet, bonding memories while watching the nation-wide Spring Festival gala of CCTV, send New Year blessings to each other and hold heartfelt family reunions.

This year is the Year of Monkey and the Chinese Spring Festival falls on February 8.

Modern life has naturally changed some aspects of annual Lunar New Year festivities, but there remain plenty of people who love the traditions of old and keep them alive in Songjiang District.

 


 

Worshipping the Kitchen God

On the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month, just before the Chinese New Year, festival preparations kick off with the worship of the Kitchen God. In old Songjiang, locals cooked dishes on clay ...more

 

Grinding rice

After the big clean-up, people started to grind rice, an important annual ritual in every village.“In olden times, farmers shared one or two stone mills in the village, so families would get together ...more

 

Paying homage to ancestors

From the 28th day before New Year’s Eve, people held ceremonies to pay homage to their ancestors.“It was common practice not only in Songjiang but across the Yangtze River Delta Region,” Ou said ...more

 

Going to the temple

To burn the first bunch of joss sticks in the New Year in the temple was an important event following the family dinners. From midnight to the following morning, big temples in Songjiang ...more

 

Welcoming the Kitchen God

On the eighth day, or the 15th day of the first lunar month, people invited the Kitchen God back. They went to the mozhang shop to buy rice paper embossed with the image ...more

House cleaning

After the Kitchen God’s departure came clean-up on the 24th day of the 12th lunar month. “The Kitchen God didn’t like dusty, messy places, so people would clean their houses while he was away” ...more

 


Worshipping the Land

On the 27th day of the 12th lunar month, one of the most important events in Songjiang was held — worshipping the land. Indeed, it was more than just land the locals worshipped ...more

 

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve hosts the most important dinner of the year for a Chinese family. Members get together — often coming from far off — to share their stories and experiences over the past year ...more

 

Greeting the New Year

On the first day of the New Year, people avoided sweeping floors, dumping garbage and flushing toilets — taboos that Songjiang people believed would bring “the luck of wealth.” ...more

 

 

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