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A'boat time! Festivities cast off Taihu fishing season

Updated : 2016-09-06
(chinadaily.com.cn)

A'boat time! Festivities cast off Taihu fishing season

Fishing boats ready for departure as the fishing season beckons on Taihu Lake on Sept 1. [Photo/wxrb.com]

The annual festival held at Taihu Lake to celebrate the start of the fishing season was held on Turtle Head Isle, Aug 28. Fishing has a strong tradition as a local industry and the festival saw thousands of fishermen and visitors gather to jubilantly celebrate the approach of September.

The tradition infuses time honored traditions with some modern day fun and the scene was particularly colorful on account of it being the 100th anniversary of Turtle Head Isle. The annual ritual included the passing of 100 fishing boats adorned with special flags covered in auspicious messages, a traditional blessing of the lake by the appropriate authorities, the release of thousands of fish-shaped balloons, and a rousing performance of an intricate fisherman's jig.

Many of those in attendance look forward to this fishing celebration for months in advance and one spectator praised Wuxi's rich local culture.

"I'm really proud of being a Wuxi native, we have a long and storied fishing culture and it's a beautiful thing that we can still enjoy these ancient traditions in the present day." Yet the festivities are far from one-dimensional and a range of activities are on offer including a photography exhibition, an open-air dramatic performance, and a sculpture exhibition. Also on offer is a fishing competition, the chance to purchase a range of local artisanal products, and a host of stands selling local specialty foods.

With an area of 2,250 square kilometers, Taihu Lake is the third largest freshwater lake in China and is famed for white shrimp, whitebait and whitefish.

 

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