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Jiudian revives lantern show tradition after six decades

By Guo Yiming ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2013-02-21

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Jiudian revives lantern show tradition after six decades

Villagers go on a night parade during the lantern show on the 10th day of the lunar calendar. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Jiudian village in Pingtan island county, Fujian province, embraced its lantern show as villagers enjoyed fancy fireworks and drum performances while parading around the village boisterously on Feb 19.

This is the first lantern event in more than 60 years since the old tradition was halted in 1948.

"The last time we had this lantern show was over 60 years ago, and this brings back sweet memories of my childhood," said a senior villager over 70 years old.

The tradition of hosting a lantern show on the 10th day of the Lunar New Year is a way of representing the people's wishes for happiness, peace and well-being. Villagers who last witnessed the show are at least 70 years old, and those who last participated in it are about 80 years old.

The tradition has been revived after over half a century thanks to Yang Ren'ai's efforts.

Yang, born in 1937 in Jiudian village, is keen on making a difference in the village with his ideas and money. Hosting a lantern show is part of his effort to rekindle past excitement.

"I remember holding a small lantern in the back of the procession when I was a teenager; it was fantastic," said Yang.

After two months of preparation, Yang's childhood memory reappeared. Many villagers said the show "has made Spring Festival complete and fulfilling".

Yang and other elder residents in the village believe the tradition will be more vibrant in the coming years and hope the tradition can last for good.