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Ancient Town Activated by Festive Parade
Updated:2018-03-06 14:55:00

The ancient town of Qiantong in southwestern Zhejiang province woke to a riot of color, noise and pageantry as locals celebrated the Lantern Festival with their annual drum pavilion parade.
Amidst the sounds of drums and firecrackers, a procession of hundreds of locals from seven villages marched through the streets carrying beautifully crafted pièces de résistance that have given the event its name: the drum pavilions.
These wooden structures at their base look similar to sedan chairs, but each has its own unique elaborate pagoda-like structure constructed on top.
At the apex of each pavilion sat one, or sometimes several, local children dressed as characters from ancient Chinese literature and mythology, while behind followed a trail of several dozen people beating drums and clashing cymbals.
The parade, held on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the first month in the Chinese lunar calendar, was initiated in 1509. The event was added to the country's national list of intangible cultural heritage in 2014.
People who flocked to Qiantong to see this year's parade could also try their hands on grinding bean curd (tofu) and the preparation of a special noodle called chuimian. They also had the opportunity to observe how the villagers made local specialties. Rabbit-shaped paper lanterns made by local bamboo weaving masters were also sold on the occasion.
"People gather to enjoy the 500-hundred-year old parade," said Zhang Changfang, Party secretary of Qiantong town. Zhang also called on people to protect and pass down this folk custom as it contains high folklore, humanistic and historical values.



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