The Spring Festival Customs of Hankou in Zhuzhi Lyrics
Folk customs are the best embodiment of the daily living wisdom of local residents. Spring Festival is a good occasion in which local customs bring themselves into full display. During the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic era, Hankou was a splendid stage in which the local customs as family reunion banquets, appreciating traditional operas in Yiyuan and Laopu Theatre, seeing movies in public parks, enjoying the street performance of lotus gathering boats, playing mahjong with friends, having western meals, cleaning themselve up in a bath house etc., were displayed in a row, which inspired some amateur Zhuzhi poets.
Wen Chaobo, a Zhuzhi poet, once described “Visiting your neighbor’s home at Spring Festival time, a cup of warm tea is served as a welcome sign. For it takes time to make the wine hot, the glutinous rice buns are offered to the guests a lot.” What he recorded was how local people in Hankou served the guests at Spring Festival time. When a guest entered your house, a cup of tea is served firstly, then a gathering dinner party is held; Normally the first dish is the glutinous rice bun, also called glutinous rice cake, which was inviting and also had the function of beautifying oneself according to local custom. However, it could not be overeaten for it could easily make one full up. If so, you had no chance of eating more delicious dishes on the table.
Wen Chaobo was apt at the observation. For example, when