Visitors 18
Modified 6-Mar-13
Created 6-Mar-13
7 photos, 2 videos

Time: February 22-24, 2013; 13th-15th of the 1st month, 2013 Snake Year in Chinese Calender
Place: Futang Village, Liancheng County, Fujian Province
Weather: Cloudy, 10-21℃
Note: Although the 15th of the 1st month in Chinese Calender is regarded Lantern Festival, or Yuanxiao Jie, by most Chinese, some places, like Liancheng in Fujian Province, celebrate it for three nights, from the 13th-15th. Only, the 15th is celebrated with more magnificence, worshiping ceremonies and fireworks of bigger scale, for instance. During the three days, the villagers carry a huge dragon about 50 meters long, which is framed and shaped with flexible bamboo sticks by skilled hands and excellent craftsmanship and covered by well painted and decorated cloth that makes the dragon skin. In the past, candles were fixed in the vacant space made by the bamboo frame and "dragon skin" around. Now, the candles have been substituted by light bulbs powered by batteries, which allows people to operate the dragon in a more lively way. From around 7:30-9:00 each night, the dragon will circle the village for three times, passing by every family. Every family has a small pile of wood burning outside the gate and welcomes the dragon's coming with fireworks each time. The dragon team consists of not only those who carrying the dragon but a group playing traditional musical instruments. In addition, unlike the typical format of "A Dragon Chasing A Dragon Ball" adopted in other places, the one in Futang Village has two more articles ahead of the Dragon Ball. They were added hundreds of years ago by the villagers to celebrate some families' academic success and upgrade of family status. The two were both named "Zhishi", which sounds very much like an academic title in ancient China. Whenever it comes to a shrine or an old house where the villagers' common ancestors used to live, the dragon will circle it three times as well. Every year, according to an order that enables every family to have the chance, one family will host a feast for one night to receive the dragon and the whole team and invite every other families to join! One of the best memories! : )