Traditions of Longtaitou Festival in Ningbo
Residents of Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang province, get haircuts during the Longtaitou Festival, which falls on Feb 24 this year. [Photo/cnnb.com.cn]
The Longtaitou Festival, or Dragon-Head-Raising Festival, falls on the second day of the second lunar month every year and marks the start of spring and the farming season. This year it falls on Feb 24.
The following are some traditional ways to celebrate the festival.
In Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang province, it has been a tradition since the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) for people to get their hair cut on this day, as some believe visiting a barber shop brings good luck.
In Ningbo, the second day of the second lunar month is believed to be the birthday of the Lady of Flowers. When a girl is born at home that day, neighbors will congratulate the parents.
It is also a tradition for young girls in the city to make puppets of the Lady of Flowers using silk, thread, and cotton to pray for wisdom and beauty.
Women also often set up a simple stove in the countryside to cook a dish known as "Cai Zhu Geng", a type of porridge mixed with vegetables fresh from the field.
While some of the aforementioned traditions are no longer practiced, others persist.
Some sacrificial ceremonies accompanied by dragon dances and drum beats are still held every year in places like Wulongtan scenic spot to pray for a bountiful harvest in the new year.