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Folk customs in Jinjiang

Updated : 2015-05-21

Folk customs in Jinjiang

The immigration culture and unique geographic position have contributed to the diversity and openness of Jinjiang culture, which has integrated the Central Plain culture, the Minyue culture and the marine culture.


Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Manicheism, Christianity, and Hinduism coexist in Jinjiang, reflecting the inclusiveness of this maritime city.


Spring Festival

This falls on the first day of the lunar calendar and lasts half a month until the Lantern Festival, when people celebrate by making New Year's calls, worshipping, and other activities.

Jade Emperor's Birthday

The people of Jinjiang believe that the Jade Emperor, the highest Taoist deity, was born on Jan 9 on the lunar calendar so there is a grand ceremony on that day with many sacrificial rites.

Lantern Festival

In Jinjiang, they give equal weight to the Spring and Lantern Festivals, and there are many lively activities for enjoyng colorful lanterns, and guessing lantern riddles. There are flower lantern shows everywhere, and a special custom in the town of Dongshi where they count the number of palace lanterns.

Setting sail

On Shenhu Bay, all ships and boats are docked before New Year's Eve and, after the Lantern Festival, there is a setting sail ceremony, where the boat captains all gather at a temple to decide the time and sequence of setting sail by drawing lots. On sail day, the fishing boats, bearing red couplets and lanterns line up in the harbor and set sail as firecrackers go off, for a splendid sight.

Dragon Boat Festival

There are many folk stories about the origin of this festival, but it's commonly seen as a festival of the dragon and the day when Qu-Yuan, a poet, committed suicide by drowning himself. People eat zongzi, a kind of rice-pudding, and hold a dragon boat race in commemoration and the town of Anhai has its own tradition, such as grabbing ducks in the water.

Mid-autumn Festival

This falls on Aug 15 on the lunar calendar When the people of Jinjiang eat traditional desserts such as "Bo Cake", "Shaotazai" and staples such as sweet potatoes and white potatoes. "Bo Cake" is said to have been created by Zhen Chenggong, a general of the Ming Dynasty, who, in1660, led an army from the Middle Plains to Fujian and invented a game to entertain the soldiers that used cakes as dice, hence the name "Bo Cake".

Eid al-Fitr

Some ancestors of a large, prosperous family in Jinjiang were Muslims and the Eid al-Fitr celebration is the most important festival of that culture and falls on Sept 29 or Oct 1 on the Moslem calendar, marking the end of the Ramadan, a time of fasting when Muslims can not eat during daylight hours. The festival lasts three days, and people begin it by cleaning the house and themselves the morning of the first day. They also prepare feasts and give gifts.

Year-end banquet

This evolved over time into a kind of bonus for employees. People of Jinjiang revere the god of the land and offer sacrifices at the end of a year. They will also hold a banquet for employees, and for enterprises, which has become kind of New Year's party.




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