Guide for Spring Festival Events in Chengdu
As the Year of the Pig is approaching, participation in folk culture activities is an inseparable part for the "to do list" of Chengdu people in addition to the annual Spring Festival shopping and the preparation of the Chinese New Year banquets. "Wuhou Shrine Temple Fair", "Jinsha Sun Festival", "Human Day Tour at Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage", "Huanglongxi Fire Dragon Festival" are folklore celebrations that are attended by many Chengdu people every Spring Festival.
What are the highlights this year?
● Wuhou Shrine Temple Fair
Attend the temple fair, worship the gods of happiness, and appreciate the Three Kingdoms culture to usher in the Chinese New Year
Chengdu Grand Temple Fair has been successfully held for 14 times at the Wuhou Shrine Museum since the Spring Festival of 2005, and has now become a must-see folk activity for the Chengdu people during Spring Festival. At the Wuhou Shrine Grand Temple Fair, visit to the "Xi Shen Fang (the God of Happiness)" is an activity favored by the people. In their visiting Wu Hou Shrine, citizens wait in long line in front of a huge rock that is engraved with "Xi Shen Fang (the God of Happiness)". When they get to the rock, they jump up and try to touch the character "喜 (happiness)" in hope of a good luck for the new year. People will also worship Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Zhuge Liang in Wuhou Shrine. While experiencing the culture of the Three Kingdoms, they also pray for a peaceful and auspicious New Year.
At the Wuhou Grand Temple Fair this year, rich activities will be held such as visit to the God of Happiness, theme lantern show, hundred-drama performance, creative fairs, snacks of Three Kingdoms, game experience, cultural relics exhibitions, and “experts assessment for treasures”. Citizens can experience the lively traditional New Year in the culture of the Three Kingdoms.
Address: Chengdu Wuhou Shrine Museum
Date: February 3 to February 20, 2019 (the 29th day of the 12th lunar month to the 16th day of 1st lunar month)
●Visit to Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage on Human Day
Visit the cottage, commemorate the great poet, and appreciate the poetry culture to celebrate the Chinese New Year
According to Chinese legend, the seventh day of the first lunar month is the day when Goddess Nyu Wa created human being, and that has been the "Human Day" ever since. From Song Dynasty, Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage accept literati and intellectuals every year to worship the great poet Du Fu. In Qing Dynasty, a poet and calligrapher He Shaoji went to Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage on the "Human Day" to worship the poet, and contributed a couplet to the effect that "I feel your influence in spring festival in waters of Chengdu, when I return to your cottage on Human Day", and thus it started the custom of "Visit to the Thatched Cottage on Human Day". Since Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage Museum initiated the restoration of the "Visit to the Thatched Cottage on Human Day" in 1992, the event has been successfully held for 27 years. "Visit to the Thatched Cottage on Human Day" has also become an intangible cultural heritage project in Sichuan Province.
On the seventh day of the first lunar month of the Year of the Pig, the vice-chairman of the China Writers Association, Mr. Li Jingze, will serve as the head of the ritual. In addition, the 47th Red Wintersweet Art Exhibition in Chengdu Du Fu's Thatched Cottage Museum is also worth a visit. Hundreds of pots of ancient wintersweet stumps, thousands of wintersweet trees, and tens of thousands of pots of flowers will be displayed in Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage and Huanhuaxi Park, strongly supporting the poetry atmosphere creation during the event.
Address: Chengdu Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage Museum
Date: February 11, 2019 (the 7th day of the 1st lunar month)
●Huanglongxi Fire Dragon Festival
Traditional Fire Dragon Dance in fire dragon town to celebrate the Chinese New Year
Chengdu Huanglongxi Ancient Town is known as the "Hometown of Chinese Fire Dragon". This "Burning the Fire Dragon" performance was originated in the Southern Song Dynasty. Based on myths and legends of the "Candle Dragon" that dominates the light and darkness, the "Reactive Dragon" who is in charge of the wind and rain, and the "Nine Sons of Dragon", as well as the traditional "Dragon Dance", the ancestors created a unique "Fire Dragon Dance". Every year from the second day of the first lunar month to the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, the ancient town of Huanglongxi will hold a folklore event of "Burning the Fire Dragon".
At "Fire Dragon Dance", people splash melted red iron liquid into the air, and the dragon dance team will shuttle back and forth under the "iron rain", creating a spectacular scene. According to the tradition, the climax of the event comes on the 15th of the first lunar month. The sound of firecrackers and fireworks are everywhere. The dragon dancers perform to the best of their efforts, and the iron liquid drops all over on the dragon. In this way, people pray for good weather, abundant harvest, and happiness in the coming year.
Address: Huanglongxi Ancient Town, Shuangliu District, Chengdu
Date: February 6 - February 19, 2019 (the 2nd day of the 1st lunar month to the 15th day of the 1st lunar month)
●Jinsha Sun Festival
Lantern Festival, flower fair, and visit to museum to celebrate the New Year
As early as the Tang and Song Dynasties, Chengdu had a tradition of holding lantern festivals. The Chengdu Jinsha Sun Festival started in 2008. Each year, grand lantern festival, flower fair and other activities are highly favored by Chengdu people.
The Chengdu Jinsha Sun Festival in 2019 will be held as scheduled. More than 40 large-scale lighting groups with three themes of "Light of Maya, Ancient Shu State Civilization, and New Year Folklore" will illuminate night sky over Jinsha Site – following the series of theme exhibitions such as ancient Rome, ancient Egypt and Pompeii, etc., at the previous Sun Festivals, the upcoming Sun Festival will showcase the Mayan civilization through world civilization exhibition, theme lantern show, gardening flowers exhibition, and so on.
This year's Jinsha Flower Fair will focus on the exhibition theme of the "World of Maya", featuring gardening flowers, styling and characterized cultural performance to showcase the featured cultural elements such as cultural heritage of the Mayan people, the beautiful coast landscape of the Mexican Gulf and its multi-ethnic traditional handicrafts. It not only brings the original Mayan sacrificial rituals, music, and dance performances to the audience, but also supplements with the Jinsha civilization of ancient Shu State and provides a cultural experience.
Address: Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum
Date: February 3 to February 22, 2019 (the 29th day of the 12th lunar month to the 18th day of the 1st lunar month)