Feature: Crowds in NW China celebrate Lunar New Year by Yellow River

(Xinhua) 13:05, February 20, 2024

LANZHOU, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- To celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, Zhao Xiaoyu was one of many to don red, traditional Chinese clothing known as Hanfu and pose for a professional photographer.

"I always wanted to have photos of myself wearing Hanfu. Luckily, I got the opportunity just before the Spring Festival holiday," said Zhao, 24. Her photos were taken along the side of the Yellow River in her hometown of Lanzhou, the capital of northwest China's Gansu Province.

The mainstream of the river passes through the city, marked by landmarks including a century-old iron bridge park, hills and temples. The scenery attracts tourists every year, and visitors were able to attend a Spring Festival fair that opened earlier this month and concluded on Monday.

Among some 150 booths at the fair, one that provided makeup, traditional Chinese clothing rental and photography services drew crowds of people eager to browse its rails and ask about prices.

"This Spring Festival, more young people have been taking photos and posting them on their social media accounts. This is a good way to tell the story of Lanzhou," said the booth's operator, surnamed Yuan, who runs a photography studio in the city.

The fair included various activities related to traditional customs, such as dragon dances, lion dances, stilt shows and drum performances.

Dong Yujie, 27, used a selfie stick to livestream a parade at the fair to his friend living abroad.

"The sounds of the gongs, drums and firecrackers brought back our childhood memories. They are the flavor of the Spring Festival," he said.

The fair also attracted attention online, with related topics generating over 15 million views on Douyin, a short-video platform that is the Chinese version of TikTok.

After watching a folk music performance at the fair online, Lanzhou resident Wang Wei made the physical journey with his wife and daughter. While enjoying the music in person, the family of three gathered around a hot stove to boil and sip local tea, sample local specialties and soak up the festive atmosphere.

Xu Haifeng, one of the organizers of the folk music program, said that four local folk bands had been invited to give regular performances every day during the fair. He noted that the fair was creative and could unleash the cultural vitality and consumption potential of the Yellow River, which is known as the "mother river" of the Chinese nation.

"The fair by the Yellow River brings traditional Chinese culture closer to young people," Xu said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


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