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Celebrate Spring Festival in a Kunming way

Spring Festival is the beginning of a year, and is the biggest festival in China. People usually celebrate with their families at homecoming, and pray for better life for the next year. In Kunming, people have their unique customs to celebrate Spring Festival.

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.Kunming people have a meal around a cooking pot [Drew by Fan Min]

Spring-cleaning

Before the Spring Festival, all the Kunming people have to sweep their homes, and some believe that vinegar steaming can help with cleaning the bacteria in the air. On the new year’s eve, they usually place a brazier of burning charcoal in each room, and put some vinegar into the brazier then close the door to make the vinegar steam “clean” the air.

This kind of custom originated in Shanxi and was introduced to Yunnan in late Ming dynasty.

Special purchases for Spring Festival

In addition to meat, vegetables, fruits and candies, Kunming people prefer preparing some Guandu Er Kuai, rice biscuits, firecrackers, incense, couplets and so on to celebrate Spring Festival.

The most special purchases are pine branches.On the eve of Spring Festival, pine branches need to be scattered on the ground and inserted in front of the door, representing best wishes for the following year. It is a unique custom within China.

Have Spring Festivals Eve dinner

Before the Spring Festival’s Eve dinner, Kunming people should first worship ancestors with cabbage, celery and fish. Children usually salute their elders for lucky money, then set off firecrackers and stick couplets on the door.

Only after these ceremonies, people can sit down to have dinner together. Cooking pot (Chui Guo), like hot pot, is a traditional dish in Kunming. It is cooked with cabbage, tofu, fungus, egg rolls and so forth.

Stay up late or all night on New Years Eve

After the dinner, a sugarcane will be used to support the door. Familymembers will sit around to chat and recount the events of the past twelve months. In the midnight, women stick the portrait of Kitchen God and the and place some articles of tribute, such as wine, tea and sugar. Men are responsible for turning the sugarcane upside down, hoping the new year will be richer and happier.

Celebrate the first month of the lunar year

According to the customs of Kunming people, there are no shaving, no sweeping, no knife using on the first day of the first lunar month. People get up and put new clothes on, have rice cakes as breakfast and then go out to visit relatives and friends.

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(Editors: Christine, Kylie)

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