Traditional folk customs to welcome the Spring Festival
Stringed puppets, one of China's oldest art forms, draw in large crowds on Jan 16 in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province. [Photo/zjol.com]
Wenzhou got ready to ring in Chinese New Year by hosting a traditional folk arts exhibition titled "New Year's Favor in Wenzhou" from Jan 13 to 17.
The exhibition in the Zhejiang province city featured 71 works of traditional local art created by more than 100 artists, including works of paper-cutting, puppets, and sugar-blowing.
Visitors were also invited to try their hands at making their own traditional Chinese snacks, such as wontons (a dumpling-like food) and niangao (a glutinous rice cake made from sticky rice).
Particulary popular was a demonstration by local chefs of how to make suomian, a local type of noodle with a profound history in Zhejiang province. The noodles are stretched so that they become extremely long and thin, and as a result they are often served to elderly people on their birthdays, since their long length symbolizes health and longevity in traditional Chinese culture. The complicated process of making the noodles impressed the visitors.
Held for the third time, this annual event to celebrate the Spring Festival holiday not only evokes childhood memories among many visitors, but also helps to pass on the region's intangible cultural heritage to the next generation.