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'Lantern Parade' reappears in countryside

The long-lost "Lantern Parade" reappears in Shachong Village on this year's Mid-Autumn Festival. [Photo by Xu Junzuan]

Organized by the Liangdu Guild Hall of the South District Folk Literature and Art Association and Intangible Cultural Heritage project Ma's Spear Inheritance Base, a total of 50 families in Shachong Village took part in the "Lantern Parade on Mid-Autumn Festival" that had disappeared for nearly 30 years on the evening of September 13. They started from the Liangdu Guild Hall, with traditional lanterns made of bamboo strips in their hands, and traveled through every street and alleyway in the village.

"I'm 41 this year. The custom of 'Lantern Parade' still existed in the village until my early teens. However, it gradually faded away as the villagers have been busy working," said Ma Yuquan, director of the Liangdu Guild Hall of the South District Folk Literature and Art Association. He is the successor of Ma's Spear, one of the representative projects of Zhongshan Intangible Cultural Heritage, and has been committed to spreading traditional culture and folk customs.

Ma Yuquan said, the "Lantern Parade" refers to small groups of children lining up in queues and going through every street and alleyway in the village with lanterns, just like a "glowing dragon", which implies illuminating the life path in the future and the bright future of the villagers. Passing the archway and the house gate implies "going through every path of life smoothly".

Before the event, according to Ma, they also organized traditional craftsmen to teach parents and children to make bamboo strip lanterns.

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