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Nian Li, not merely free banquets

2017-March-4       Source: Newsgd.com

Among so many traditional festivals in China, Spring Festival is the most ceremonious. However in West Guangdong, especially in Maoming and Zhanjiang, one festival is more ceremonious than Spring Festival, that is Nian Li.

Lion dance is performed during the ceremony for worshiping gods on Nian Li.

How is Nian Li like?

For guests of Nian Li, they just go to the host family, enjoy the activities and banquets. For an ordinary host family, this is how they prepare and celebrate Nian Li.

Several days before Nian Li, they meet with dedicated staff who are responsible for the public events of Nian Li in the village. After getting to know about the arrangement of this year’s Nian Li, they donate money for the public spending of the festival, voluntarily according to their financial situation.

They make calls to invite relatives and friends, prepare foods, dinnerware, tables and chairs for the banquets, buy fireworks and firecrackers, decorate their house, and enjoy the cultural performances which start one or two days before Nian Li.

Guests enjoy banquet on Nian Li.

On the day of Nian Li, they wake up early to prepare for god worshiping ceremony as well as banquets. As guests arrive one after the other, they chat, drink tea, eat snacks or enjoy lion dance which is performed from door to door before banquet. They also accompany guests to view the ceremony or visit the temple which is the headquarters of the whole Nian Li festival.

After the banquet, they bid farewell to some guests, and accompany the rest to enjoy the folklore performances, firework shows and bamboo torch parade. After all the guests leave, they clean up the house and call it a day probably late at night.

Editor: Monica Liu

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