The “The 3rd Day of the 3rd Lunar Month Shangsi Spring Return and Guangzhou Welcomes You” event was held recently, featuring activities such as tea-making around the stove, long table Feast, and spring outings, attracting many participants.
SINGAPORE, April 30, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — To better inherit and promote Lingnan culture, enhance the traditional folk cultural activities brand of “Lizhiwan · New Xiguan”, connect traditional culture with contemporary life, and deepen the integration of culture and tourism development, on April 22, 2023 (Shangsi Festival, The 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month), the 13th “Lizhiwan · New Xiguan” Folk Culture Event in Liwan Lake Park, Guangzhou, is hosted by the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism, the Propaganda Department of the Liwan District Committee of the Communist Party of China, and the Liwan District Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism and Sports. The event is organized by the Liwan District Cultural Tourism Integration Development Center. The event is themed “The 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month Shangsi Spring Return and Guangzhou Welcomes You”.
Spring Outings in Shangsi Festival InheritingTraditional Folk Culture for Thousands of Years
“Good weather on a warm day, purification rites on a clear river. The path is narrow with flowers on either side, and the spring abounds by the water.” These lines from the Ming dynasty poet Yang Ji’s poem “Shangsi” allow us to feel the scene of the Shangsi Festival in that era. During the bright and beautiful springtime, young men and women in ancient times would go on spring outings outside the city on this day, while literati would gather by the water to drink and hold elegant activities such as drinking wine while admiring the scenery. It is because of this that the Shangsi Festival is considered an extremely elegant presence among China’s many traditional festivals. In the Tang dynasty, the poet Cui Hao was inspired on the day of the Shangsi Festival to write the poem “Shangsi”: “On the day of the Snake, in the spring of the Imperial City, the morning purification rites pour out. When the carriage stops, it must be beside the water, and when the music is played, it must startle the dust. The soft willow shields the riders, and the floating bridge is crowded with onlookers. It is said that the day is still early, but we are already heading towards the Nine Dragon Wharf.” Today, Liwan Lake Park in the third lunar month is full of greenery and vitality, and young women dressed in traditional Chinese clothing gather in groups to go on outings and offer flowers and herbs to passersby, presenting scenes of ancient purification rites. At that moment, there is joy in learning new things from the past: on this spring day, with the clear wind blowing, may you and I have close companions by our side. Let’s not waste time, nor each other, let’s not waste this beautiful spring, nor ourselves.
“Stirring Tea around the Stove” activity ignites the popularity of Fangcun Tea Market
As birds fly and grass grows, flowers bloom in profusion, and people enjoy the spring scenery while sipping tea, each with its own unique beauty. On the day of the activity, crowds of people flock to the various outdoor tea tables adorned with natural and elegant elements such as four-sided frame curtains and bamboo lanterns. The tea performances in the beautiful tea pavilion attract audiences to stop and take photos. Local residents and tourists tasted more than 100 types of tea, including black tea, yellow tea, and white tea, participated in the selection of the “Most Beautiful Tea Artist” and “Most Beautiful Tea Table,” and experienced a small-scale “Tea Expo,” which is popular among many young people.
It is reported that the participating tea companies in this event are from the Fangcun Tea Market in Liwan, Guangzhou, which is a small representation of the many tea industries in the market. They inherit and innovate traditional tea industries and use the tea ceremony to interpret Chinese culture. The world looks at Chinese tea, and Chinese tea looks at Fangcun. The Fangcun Tea Market is the largest tea distribution center in the country in terms of scale, variety, trading volume, radiation area, and concentration of shops. This “The 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month” folk theme combined with tea culture, integrating the current trend of leisure activities, attracted a large number of young people and tourists, making the famous Fangcun Tea Market in South China, radiating throughout the country and selling well all over the world, popular once again.
There was also a tea culture salon themed “Guangfu Tea Culture and Non-heritage Tea-making Techniques,” where Huangcha non-heritage inheritor He Weizhen, the head of the Tea Science Department of South China Agricultural University, Chen Wenpin, and the editor-in-chief of “Tea Origin Geography” Wu Yin, and other experts talked about the role and influence of tea culture in folk festivals from the perspectives of variety, region, and technology, etc.
“Long Table Feast” awakens memories of Xiguan and preserves nostalgia for Lingnan
The “The 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month Long Table Feast” in 2023 features a long table in the shape of the Chinese character “Hui” (meaning “return”), which is connected to a stage where swallows fly. This symbolizes the wonderful meaning of spring returning to the earth, life returning to the past, folk customs returning to the present, and everything returning smoothly. Neighborhood residents and artists gather to continue the tradition of “gathering family, discussing business, praying for a good harvest, and keeping peace” through this event.
The Shangsi Festival is also a food festival. Along with host promoting Cantonese cuisine in the local dialect, many dishes with Xiguan characteristics awaken memories of Xiguan and Lingnan, such as big pot dish, Guangzhou-style preserved fruit, chicken cakes, Tingzai congee, Suxin flower tea, and lychee wine. There are also food stalls showcasing Xiguan cuisine on-site, highlighting the reputation of “Food in Guangzhou, taste in Xiguan.” Folk experts and food experts also tell stories about traditional folk culture and Xiguan cuisine.
Innovative presentation promotes deep integration of cultural tourism
This year’s “The 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month” event presents the contents of “Cleaning rituals, spring outings, music, drinking wine, tasting tea, and feasting” in a form that is popular with young people today. The organizer also released several cultural and tourism routes with the theme of “The 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month,” including spring outings, food, and tea-making, in conjunction with the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, and Tourism to promote the Liwan cultural tourism both domestically and abroad, allowing more people to experience the beauty of Xiguan cuisine and Lingnan culture.
To present the folk customs in their original form, the event distributed 333 “shepherd’s purse eggs” with good wishes to local residents and tourists, creating a lively and harmonious atmosphere. Eating shepherd’s purse eggs during the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month festival is a custom of the Chinese nation, and Xiguan families always remember the warm picture of their parents cooking shepherd’s purse eggs when they were young, which is now being relived to remember the nostalgia.
The long table banquet program was presented in a way that combined contemporary and traditional elements, receiving thunderous applause. The dynamic dance performance “Tage” of the Northern and Southern Dynasties was a slow return from the blossoming of flowers on the street. Additionally, contemporary dancers performed with the backdrop of the giant “paddles” of Liwan Lake Park, integrating modern life scenes, giving an interpretation and expression of the ancient Shangsi Festival that is contemporary and indigenous. In addition, Xie Diying, the provincial inheritor of the Salt water song intangible cultural heritage, brought the Salt water song “Wonderful Guangzhou,” and national first-class actress Huang Lihua offered the Cantonese Han opera “The Moon Shines on the Path.” All of them were filled with the charm of “wind and scenery in March.” Along with the ancient zither and reed flute playing, the poetry, songs, and dances brought the magnificent atmosphere of the “The 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month Shangsi Festival” to sway towards the beautiful Litchi Bay.
The 3rd Day of the 3rd Lunar Month · Return of Spring on Shangsi Festival
May there be years to look back on. In the spring of 2023, unlike previous springs, the trees are lush with green leaves, flowers bloom on their branches, the “Grain Rain” has passed, and the “Beginning of Summer” has not yet arrived. “The Return of Spring on Shangsi Festival, the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month” is a time to let one’s emotions soar and appreciate the tranquility of the years gone by. As spring returns to the earth and swallows return to their nests, life becomes as rich as the springtime, in harmony with the new greenery between heaven and earth.
Throughout the long history and civilization of the Chinese nation, numerous folk customs have been passed down. Through these customs that have been remembered by time, we can catch a glimpse of the life of our ancestors and understand the traditional folk culture that we are a part of. The “Return of Spring on Shangsi Festival, the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month” is still celebrated in different places today. We select the parts that match the times and carry them forward to build a folk culture that is more suitable for contemporary life.
The famous poet and art curator Huang Lihai believes that “life has a sense of ceremony, and life can only be seen through ceremonies. As a folk narrative, the ‘Return of Spring on Shangsi Festival, The 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month’ reflects the changes of the times. The classical IP of toasting and banquet by the river and lakeside are classic images of the past. In addition to the traditional folk customs such as “Purification Ceremony,” “Spring Outings,” “Playing Music,” “Drinking Wine,” “Tea Tasting,” and “Banquet,” there are now also film presentations, environmental interpretations, intangible cultural heritage displays, technological interventions, and literary walks, which supplement the previous single folk customs. The creative transformation of folk activities is a liberation and a new outlet.
This year’s “Return of Spring on Shangsi Festival, The 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month” is not simply a reproduction but an integration into modern life, seeking the resonance of folk culture in the present. From a traditional perspective, the blurred image of the “Return of Spring on Shangsi Festival, the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month” becomes clear again, and the rich festive atmosphere is awakened. That pure and simple joy can be found in the fusion of classical and contemporary culture in Lichi Bay.” Director Ji Nan expressed her understanding of the event in this way, “The ‘Return of Spring on Shangsi Festival, the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month’ is not just about food, it also requires spiritual nourishment and ideas. The ‘Return of Spring on Shangsi Festival, the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month’ with cultural concepts has a future, and the ‘Return of Spring on Shangsi Festival, the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month’ in artistic form has a place to go.”
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