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Lanjie Fu
Date:2013-05-31 16:47:06 Fonts:[ Large Medium Small ]

It is an ancient sacrifice tradition of ethnic Han, popular in Wenzhou of Zhejiang Province, and other places. It was recorded in Yongjia County Chronicles during Qianlong’s reign of the Qing Dynasty (1736-1796) “On the first day of the second lunar month, a ritual is performed in a street to pray for well-being and to expel disasters, called “Blocking Street for Blessing”. The ritual is then performed in the streets one after another in the following days until the fifteenth day of the third lunar month.” The record proves that the tradition was getting popular at least in the early Qing Dynasty (1616-1911). Nowadays, despite its unchanged name, the ritual has evolved into something like a mixed traditional customs displaying and trading activity, conducted in a blocked street not far from the city’s southern outskirt.

To hold the activity, a length of the street more than 1 kilometer-long is enclosed with imitated ancient city walls decorated with lanterns and streamers. Outside of the “city”, a giant dragon-head boat, dragon lanterns, sculpture figures in silk clothes representing 12 months’ life, painted sculpture pagodas, and rice molding of figurines, etc. are displayed. Inside, both sides of the street are lined with makeshift stalls, which sell all kinds of goods, including handicrafts, local specialties, snacks in and outside of Wenzhou, etc. Local intangible cultural heritages such as carvings from paper, boxwood or shells are exhibited. At night, at several makeshift stages adjacent to the street, traditional Chinese operas are put on as a part of the activity, which adds to its festival vibe. During the activity, the streetis crowed with people, hustling and bustling.

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