Every Spring Festival, the annual Qinhuai Lantern Festival is held in the Confucius Temple in the Qinhuai River Scenic Spot of Nanjing, which lasts until March. The event is especially heated from the beginning of the Chinese New Year to the Lantern Festival, which is known as “the best in lantern show along the Qinhuai River.” During the period, both sides of the Qinhuai River will be decorated with lanterns and light installations, which are reflected in the river water, vibrant and spectacular. The Confucius Temple Lantern Festival is a folk cultural event passed down for generations in Nanjing. It is a large-scale and long-lasting lantern festival in China that integrates lantern exhibitions, lantern festivals, and lantern markets. During the Spring Festival, visitors can also experience folk customs such as praying for five blessings, weaving brace laces for peace and luck, hammering lucky pills, and cuju (ball-kicking).
During the Spring Festival, visitors can visit Zhouzhuang, chasing the New Year in the childhood memory and having an authentic taste of the water town. Whether it is beating the spring cattle on the first of lunar January, worshiping the God of Wealth on the fifth, or admiring the lantern on the fifteenth, visitors can have an authentic Chinese New Year in the water town. As a place with the strongest New Year atmosphere in Jiangsu, Zhouzhuang is also one of the most typical water towns to visit during the Spring Festival. The locals here are rather particular about adhering to traditional customs during the Spring Festival, such as staying up for the new year on the New Year’s Eve, fireworks on the first, wedding on the second and the fourth, worshiping the God of Wealth on the fifth, and enjoying sweet rice dumplings on the fifteenth. In addition to the three folk-themed activities, there are eight New Year-style life experience activities, such as visiting the New Year’s market, drinking spring wine, and eating sweet rice dumplings, allowing visitors to experience the Spring Festival along with the life of the ancient water town. So why not come to celebrate the Chinese New Year with the water-town style!
Pan’an Lake Lantern Festival
During the Spring Festival, the annual “Pan’an Lake National Wetland Park Lanterns Festival” is held in Pan’an Lake National Wetland Park in Xuzhou. Here visitors can enjoy a lively experience with a unique flavor by wandering on the streets decorated with colorful lanterns, visiting temple fairs, watching folk performances, and tasting special food. More than 30 groups of large and medium-sized lanterns and hundreds of craft lanterns are installed during the lantern festival. The sea of lanterns forms a wonderland of lights, dreamily and magnificent. There are large-scale installations such as “Luck for Xuzhou” and “Dragon Prosperity” that take up two hundred square meters, and the tall and majestic installations such as “New Year’s Dragon” and “Love Forest” that are eye-catching from all over the place. Visitors can stroll through the installations, listen to flute music, and admire the colorful lights, enjoying a unique charm endowed by the art of lanterns. Besides, there are also stalls for exquisite snacks, local cultural performances, local products, and toys and games for children. Since the lantern festivals are different every year, the Pan’an Lake scenic area is the best place to enjoy delicacies, appreciate the various lantern displays, and buy New Year’s goodies while immersing in festivity.
Zaohe Temple Fair
Every year, the Dragon King Temple Fair of Zaohe has become the first choice for fun for many people in Suqian on the ninth day of the first lunar month. Since the Qing Dynasty, the eighth, ninth, and tenth days of the first lunar month have been the days for the temple fair at the Anlan Dragon King Temple, of which the ninth is the first day. During these three days, Zaohe was crowded with people coming and going. Many believers, men and women, also come to burn incense and worship the Buddha in the temple, praying for good luck in the new year. Besides, folk artists also strive to display old crafts, such as sugar painting, bamboo weaving, wheat straw painting, flour dough figures, windmills, hoops, puppets, and drums, which are full of childhood memories for generations of people. Besides, visitors can also appreciate the scenery at the “Xiajiangnan Grand View Garden,” look afar from the Anlan Bridge, visit the Qianlong Palace for an opera with Liuqin, and enjoy special snacks. In particular, delicacies such as the Zaohe soup, pan-fried beef dumplings, Qianlong tribute cake, and the fish head dumplings are all worth trying. For centuries, the prosperity of the Zaohe Temple Fair has never changed.