Wrapping up Chinese New Year and its many celebrations is the annual lantern festival which, in 2016, lights up the day on Monday 22 February. Traditional things to do, at this time, consist of guessing lantern riddles, viewing lanterns of different shapes and colors and eating sweet dumplings. In addition to these fun activities an assortment of intangible heritages will also be brought to life in different parts of this highly revered city.
The Qiantang Lantern Exhibition created in Dengxin Lane (灯芯巷), Tianshui Street (天水街道) is one of Hangzhou’s most remarkable intangible cultural heritages. During every Lantern Festival thousands of people are drawn here simply for the glimpse of the many exquisite lanterns on show.
Besides the Qiantang Lantern Exhibition along Tianshui Street the dragon dance performed at the entrance of Dengxin Street is also a roaring success.
This famous street is always welcoming, but notably during the lantern festival it encourages people to try their hands at a variety of folk activities, for example in Luyou Memorial Hall at No. 92 Hai’er Lane (孩儿巷) one can get to know about the street’s first group of intangible cultural heritages and partake in guessing lantern riddles and in the culture center at No. 12 Zhugan Lane (竹竿巷) one can enjoy the unique Hangzhou storytelling and Chinese style tea performances.
‘Spring of the Grand Canal’ Lantern Exhibition
It has been twenty years since the first initiation of the ‘Spring of the Grand Canal’ Lantern Exhibition. Compared to previous years where all districts held lantern exhibitions collectively in a square, this year’s lantern exhibitions will take place in each individual block thus offering convenience for local residents wanting to appreciate the beauty of its city’s glowing lanterns.
Grand Canal Cultural Plaza
On February 21 and for three days only the Grand Canal Cultural Plaza will, from 18:00 until 21:30, present the following three themed lantern groups: ‘Golden Monkeys Bringing Auspiciousness’, ‘Underwater World’ and ‘Time Tunnel’. To add even more enlightenment to this occasion there is a music fountain with colorful lights, rows of hanging red lanterns and lotus lanterns floating here and there.
On February 21 from 14:00 to 15:00 folk artists are set to light up the day with a number of show-stopping performances, held at the Min Xing Grand Stage (民星大舞台) in the south opera building of the plaza. A calligraphy and painting exhibition themed on monkeys will also be on display and will continue until March 8 in Gongchen Academy (拱辰书院).
Also worth mentioning are the four lanterns in Mishi Lane (米市巷), ‘Welcoming G20*’, ‘Guxin Angling *’, ‘Golden Monkeys Bringing Auspiciousness’ and ‘Spring in Mishi’ which take note of the significant things that have happened in 2015 and due to happen in 2016.
* The 2016 G20 Summit will be hosted in Hangzhou.
* The first urban river angling spot in Hangzhou has been put into use at the end of 2015 which is at the bank of Guxin River.
Source: Hangzhou Tourism Commission