Celebrating Ancient Traditions of Lantern Festival

Taiping Village hosted a unique event on Friday that recreated the lively sights of Lantern Festival celebrations and historical activities from Baihe Town of Qingpu District.

Traditional Lantern Festival fare, such as Yangfen porridge, was served amid vibrant lanterns and the loud noise of gongs and drums.

During the town’s Lantern Festival celebration, eating the porridge is a requirement.

According to legend, the Jade Emperor, the highest deity of Taoism, was informed by the Kitchen God that the locals only had porridge to eat and led a miserable existence. The emperor then gave immortals orders to raise the standard of living for the populace. The porridge-making custom is a way to give thanks to the Kitchen God.

The town’s children carried rabbit and dragon lanterns as they strolled across the Jijia, Zhangjia, and Wanjing bridges, carrying on the ancient custom of “walking three bridges.”

The custom, which has its roots in the Yangtze River delta’s southern regions, is said to banish sorrow and bad luck.

A game called jiuzi, which is equivalent to the “nine games” played in Shanghai longtang (lanes), was also played during the event. Huju opera performances, as well as sizhu (traditional string and wind music) from Jiangnan (lower portions of the Yangtze River), were organized.

When residents prayed for a harvest in 2024 while engaging in fire-related activities, the event reached its peak.

The historical and cultural heritage of Qinglong culture is preserved in the old Baihe Town.

The riverfront town of Qinglong Town prospered under the Tang (AD 618–907) and Song (960–1279) dynasties due to its strength in agriculture and international trade. The village received porcelain goods from all across China, which were then exported by way of the Wusong River. The key structures of Qinglong culture are still standing: the Qinglong Pagoda and Qinglong Temple.

The historic Qinglong Town was established as a harbor in AD 746, from which trade ships sailed to South Korea, Japan, and other foreign nations.