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Huangling Celebrates Winter Solstice with Almost Extinct Folk Customs

December 28, 2016 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

China’s most beautiful countryside Huangling hosted a series of rituals and harvest celebration events on December 18 to embrace the Winter Solstice, the important solar term on Chinese lunar calendar that marks the the summit of winter, as “midwinter” is used in English.

China’s most beautiful countryside Huangling hosted a series of rituals and harvest celebration events on December 18 to embrace the Winter Solstice, the important solar term on Chinese lunar calendar that marks the the summit of winter, as “midwinter” is used in English.

The Winter Solstice falls on December 21 this year, the traditional holiday is celebrated through different customs in many regions across China. In Huangling, the celebration starts with a grand ritual ceremony in the morning that emphasizes on the local farming culture, as village masters dressed in traditional costume expressed gratitude to the mountain god who has blessed them with abundant harvest in the autumn.

“Wuyuan has the same folk festival culture as the central plains of China, inheriting the established Confucian etiquette culture and sharing the same traditions in celebrating the Winter Solstice, however a lot of the customs have lost in history,” said Wu Xiangyang, CEO of Wuyuan Rural Culture Development Co., Ltd. “Wuyuan still preserves heritages of the farming culture through customs like performing quan hui (the ancient King of Beasts and mountain god in Huangling) dance to honor the mountain god, paying respect to farm cattle, setting up a feast on the ancient Tianjie Street and more.”

Then villagers dressed as quan hui performed traditional dances to pray for the mountain god’s protection, a favorable weather for crops next year, a golden harvest and flourishing families.

As the coldest days of the year start on Winter Solstice, the farm cattle no longer need to work on the fields, so the villagers fed their cattle in the morning, thanked them for a year of service, let them conserve strength and store up energy for the spring.

At noon, the villagers and visitors joined a countryside feast by a 100-meter-long table set up across Tianjie Street to enjoy local delicacies while celebrating harvest in great joy.

The Winter Solstice celebration also marked the successful conclusion of the five-month 2016 China (Huangling) Shaiqiu Culture Festival.

“This year the 24 solar terms of the traditional Chinese farming culture were recognized as human intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, through the Winter Solstices rituals, Huangling hopes to promote the preservation of traditional folk culture among local villagers and present visitors a place of nostalgic memories,” Wu said.

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