China Jiangnan Net Boat Fair resumes in Jiaxing
An aerial view of the 2023 China Jiangnan Net Boat Fair in Jiaxing. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The China Jiangnan Net Boat Fair resumed in Wangjiangjing town, Xiuzhou district, Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, on April 18 after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fair will last for about 15 days this year, during which a photography exhibition, camping festival, street market, and other activities will be held.
A fisherman from Jiaxing surnamed Wang said that although he has not lived on his fishing income for many years, participating in the fair has become a habit and he wants to use it to pray for a good harvest.
A dragon dance is performed during the 2023 China Jiangnan Net Boat Fair in Jiaxing. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The Net-Boat Fair, also dubbed the "Liuwang Temple Fair", is a traditional local carnival paying homage to Liu Chengzhong, who led people in annihilating locusts in the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). It includes a series of activities such as large-scale sacrifices, a boat-racing festival and folk culture performances.
The annual fair reached a culmination in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and died out in the middle of the 19th century.
By the early 1980s, the Net-Boat Fair had re-emerged with more than 50,000 people participating in the fair in 1979 and the number soaring to 100,000 in 1986.
Nowadays, fishermen and boat people from Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces and Shanghai get together in the Liansidang scenic area in Wangjiangjing for the annual fair.
In 2011, the Net Boat Fair was among the third group of the national intangible cultural heritage list.
August 21, 2023