Bill Alen - Nov 8, 2014
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The Spring Festival or Chinese New Year is coming close – starting on February 19, 2015. Many Chinese towns, big or small are already preparing traditional events that travelers can look forward to. presents three of the most interesting ancient towns in China for the Chinese New Year celebrations

Wuzhen Town, Zhejiang

The streets of Wuzhen are usually illuminated during the Spring Festival celebrations with people putting posters on their walls and doors. Most New Year customs have their roots in this town with the most distinctive one being the “long street banquet”.
In the past, rich families would invite their guests to a banquet during the Festival. They would arrange tables and chairs along the streets and connect them with their neighbor’s. These long connected tables formed the lively long street banquet. It is still held in Wuzhen today with more splendid dishes. Other activities in Wuzhen include pasting spring couplets, burning of the first incense, watching traditional Chinese opera, enjoying festive lanterns, attending the lantern festival and temple fair in January, and setting fireworks.

Fenghuang Town, Hunan

Located in western Hunan, Fenghuang, which means ‘phoenix’ usually holds one of the best Spring Festival celebrations in the country. The locals in this small and ancient town stick to their traditions when celebrating the Lunar New year. They usually have a ceremony to worship their ancestors before the reunion dinner. Afterwards, the elderly usually distribute hongbao (envelops) with money to the children. The town folks always remain awake till early morning so as to welcome the New Year.

Xitang Town, Zhejiang

This water town is well known for its ancient architecture and wandering rivers. Even though it is sandwiched between two of China’s busiest cities, Hangzhou and Shanghai, Xitang has managed to stick to its traditional ways of celebrating the Spring Festival. People in this town perform grand traditional ceremonies that are fading away among most urban citizens. The Spring Festival celebration in Xitang usually attracts a large number of tourists.

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