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Taishun hundred-family banquet: A grand tradition

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: February 26, 2024 L M S

Check out the video to learn more about the Taishun hundred-family banquet. [Video provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

During the Lantern Festival, which fell on Feb 24 this year, the Taishun hundred-family banquet unfolded with breathtaking splendor – a hundred tables set, villages united, and thousands gathered for a communal feast.


The hundred-family banquet held in Zhangzhai village, Sankui town, Taishun county, Wenzhou, Zhejiang province. [Photo/wzrb.com.cn]

Since 2007, Taishun has been recognized as a protected site for the Lantern Festival in Zhejiang province, all thanks to the hundred-family banquet. By June 2009, this banquet was inscribed into Zhejiang province's intangible cultural heritage representative list. In 2010, its grandeur reached new heights as 6,000 tables were simultaneously set, earning it a place in the Guinness World Records.

Originating from Zhangzhai village in Sankui town over 800 years ago, the Taishun hundred-family banquet began with the Zhang family's annual spring and autumn sacrificial ceremonies in their ancestral temple. Following ancestor worship during the Lantern Festival, the family hosted a banquet, known as the "ancestral temple feast", for relatives. Over time, this evolved into the hundred-family banquet, welcoming guests from neighboring villages.

In recent years, the banquet has grown into a grand folk event, drawing locals and tourists alike to celebrate the Lantern Festival.

The main event of the banquet includes worshiping local deities and conducting ancestor worship. After a communal lunch, villagers organize a procession to carry the statue of "Chen Shisi" out of the temple, initiating the parade procession. Led by ceremonial guards, drum teams, lantern dancers, and opera characters, the parade winds through the streets.


A scene from the Taishun firework-triggered performance. [Photo/Ji Jiahui]

During the procession, believers devoutly await the deity's arrival, setting off firecrackers and preparing offerings at altars along the route. Dragon and lion dance teams perform, fireworks light up the night sky, and puppet shows entertain the crowds. The festive atmosphere will last for six days, marking a joyous culmination to the Lantern Festival celebrations.