Wuhan-style Cheongsam, A Testimony to History and Dream
asked how to greet each other in the street at Spring Festival time, he wrote, “Meeting the strangers in the street one after another, it is better to say hello to each other; Normally you greet someone just by nodding, but at Spring Festival time you’d better acquaint by bowing.” At Spring Festival time, locals in Hankou made a salution to each other with a polite bow to send the best new year’s wishes when coming across acquaintances. It is evident that Hankou residents are polite and courteous for ages, which can be found in some literature and classic works.
For example, “Only children are fond of the Spring Festival in anticipation, for their pocket money can be used for celebration; Wearing ghost masks to amuse each other, or playing a game of sword and whip to frighten one another.” This Zhuzhi poem best described how the kids in Hankou played during Daoguang period in Qing Dynasty, either played in the era of transformation or in the harmonious nature.
What interested Wen Chaobo more was how the children dealt with their lucky money. In fact, children living in Hankou were particularly fortunate, because they were able to use their lucky money on their own. They could buy ghost masks that they longed for; they could also buy swords and whips to play the game of soldiers. Unlike us now in many families, once given lucky money, they have to hand in to their parents. Presumably, children in Hankou heartily hope their parents will stick to the tradition.
A cup of tea should be served to those who visit your family to send new year’s greetings. Then, how did they enter a house? Luo Maoqi, a folk poet, wrote, “People on the street in dribs and drabs standing, chatting with pleasure the door number finding; taking off jade hairpin to knock the door softly, suddenly a sound of firecrackers marks the new year’s coming loudly.”
The customs revealed in this poem have already disappeared. However we could still find how the locals practised it at Spring Festival time. To start with, locating the door number, then female guests walked forward, taking off the jade hairpin to knock the door gently, then, the host opened the door and welcomed the smiling guests. With the door open, male
visitors would set off firecrackers, indicating to bring happiness and blessings to the family.
This poem was written in a rather warm tone, creating an atmosphere of scenes of animation that could be nearly heard. At the beginning of the poem, the poet penned a reduplicated word “Yingying” which meant “limpid and graceful manners” in a dictionary. It also had connatations of glorious appearance, decent behaviors, delightful expressions and happy
得见声音的动画般的场景以外，还有一个氛围。作者开头用了“盈盈”这个叠词。词典中解释：“盈盈，形容清澈。”可以引申为充盈，用以形容美好的仪态，快乐的神情，美好的情绪。你想想，当街一群群拜年客，都是这样“盈盈”地左右 moods. Imagine yourself standing in the street accompanied by a group of female beauties on the street looking around in such graceful nanners. How delightful it is!
In 1992, Luo Maoqi also described how lottery ticket buyers celebrated the spring festival. “Hundreds of businesses were closed for the Spring Festival, while lottery ticket company operated all alone. It is quite natural to aspire power and wealth, yet it in turn undermine the social customs
1922年，罗懋其还注意到另一群人的过年状态。“新年百业皆停歇，奖券公司独照常。自是人争贪万利，岂知民俗自兹伤。”是一群争先恐后疯狂玩彩票的人。有了这样一群 and buyers’ health.” The lottery ticket company could never close the door with so crazy lottery buyers. It was said that only lottery ticket company opened up during the Spring Festival. And their business were booming. In the period of the Republic of China, playing the lottery became one of spectacular customs of Hankou urban life. Excerpted from the Author’s Blog） 痴迷彩票的拥趸，奖券公司怎么能关门呢？据说，每进年关，只有彩票公司开门乐岁，异常热闹。民国时期，汉口年俗还有这个玩彩票的洋洋大观哦。