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Tajik man enchanted by Dongtou fish lanterns

ALMS|Updated: August 29, 2022

Watch the video to learn about folk customs in Dongtou district and the techniques behind making a typical Dongtou fish lantern. [Video/Wenzhou Overseas Media Center]

Ergashev Akmal, a Tajikistani anchor of the Wenzhou Overseas Media Center as well as a doctoral student from Wenzhou Medical University, was recently captivated by the folk customs festival in Dongtou district, where he wandered in the ancient flower-lantern alleys, watched a hanfu show on the beach, and made traditional Dongtou folk food.

But what enchanted him the most was fish lanterns. The scene of them floating in the night sky along the street has lingered in his mind and inspired him to pay a visit to a local expert and learn how to make the elaborate lanterns.

Fish lanterns, which boast a history of over 300 years, originated during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), representing locals' desire to escape misfortune and celebrate a good harvest.

A stable framework, fine decorations, and the creator's patience and skill are key to making an exquisite fish lantern.

"I am very happy to experience the folk customs of Dongtou and decode the cultural genes of this 'garden by sea'. I'm totally immersed in its cultural charm," Akmal said after the cultural trip in Dongtou.

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