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Lantern festival parade revived after a decade

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: February 26, 2024 L M S


The 2024 Lantern Festival Parade is undeterred by the chilly drizzle in Shaoxing on Feb 24. [Photo/By Jiang Liben for Tide News]

Zhuji City Square burst into life as the 2024 Lantern Festival Parade commenced in Zhuji, Shaoxing, on Feb 24, the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

From lively lion dancers to majestic dragon lanterns, 11 groups totaling over 600 participants paraded through the main thoroughfare of Zhuji City Square, captivating spectators with their performances.

"I've lived in Zhuji all my life, but I never knew our Lantern Festival could be this exciting!" said a local resident surnamed He, as he shared multiple video clips on social media.

Indeed, a decade has passed since Zhuji last witnessed the parade.

The tradition of the parade traces its roots back to 1985. Over the years, it has evolved into a splendid showcase of traditional folk arts and a joyous celebration for the community, embodying the heartfelt wishes of the people for a prosperous and harmonious new year.

The hiatus of the Lantern Festival Parade began in 2015 due to necessary road construction and other factors, leaving many Zhuji residents feeling a sense of loss.

Last September, local government authorities surveyed rural areas and discovered a profound longing for the Lantern Festival Parade. Consequently, the decision was made to revive the beloved tradition, starting this year.

"Many villagers yearned for the grandeur of the parade, while the younger generation was filled with excitement for an experience they never had," said Meng Qionghui, director of the Zhuji Museum.

She noted, "The resurgence of the Lantern Festival Parade is not only a timely and beneficial event but also provides a splendid platform for the preservation of Zhuji's rich cultural heritage."