Quzhou holds sacrificial offering ceremony to greet spring
The Miaoyuan village in Quzhou, Zhejiang province holds an annual sacrificial offering ceremony for the God of Spring, Gou Mang, on Feb 4. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The Miaoyuan village in Quzhou, Zhejiang province held an annual sacrificial offering ceremony for the God of Spring, Gou Mang, on Feb 4, the beginning of spring and also the day of Lunar New Year's Eve.
The Start of Spring is the first among China's 24 Solar Terms, a calendar consisting of 24 periods that was used to govern agricultural arrangements in ancient China and is still used to this day.
Miaoyuan is the only village in the world which still keeps the traditional sacrificial offering ceremony for Gou Mang intact.
At nine o'clock, 24 boys and girls in green clothes wore a wicker hoop on their heads and carried an oiled paper lantern, standing in two lines before the gate of Wutong Temple, the temple of Gou Mang, while chanting poems depicting the spring to welcome worshippers from around the world.
At 18 minutes past nine, these worshippers offered baskets of flowers and other sacrificial offerings to the God of Spring in turn to pray for fair weather and a good harvest in the upcoming year.
Then the ballad for spring began ranging through the temple as if it had awoken the spring.
Following the sacrificial offering ceremony, the ceremony of the first plow in spring began. An elder local farmer led his own farm cattle to plow the land for the first time in the spring.
"It's so exciting," said an overseas student from South Africa in Quzhou University, noting that he celebrated the traditional Chinese festival with local residents and experienced the charming folk customs in the city.