By Yuling Chen,iChongqing
Chongqing- Chinese culture is profound and extensive. You can have a glimpse of it through important folk customs during important festivals, for example, the Chinese Lunar New Year.
The Spring Festival falls on February 5, 2019, and before that the preparation for New Year products represents a great project. Exaggerating? After Ganchang (“赶场” in Chinese) or Ganji (“赶集” in Chinese), literally going to the bazaars, you probably would agree.
The traditional Chinese bazaars serve as a form of the trade organization, where people buy necessities and routine services. These markets operate on a regular basis and dwindle as modern economy prospers. But in downtown Chongqing, a traditional Chinese market in Tongyuanju, Nan’an District, has been there for over 30 years.
The market still attracts many consumers nowadays as it offers various products at reasonable prices. Meat and vegetables are definitely part of these products.
Going to the market is time-and-energy-consuming. Tongyuanju market has limited space for a lot of people swarming in. It operates on dates ending up with 2nd, 5th and 8th, the time once fixed seldom changed. Arriving at an early time means chances to get, sometimes scramble for, fresh vegetables. So, having a good sleep is strategic. Buyers at all ages are happy for the pre-year shopping because it is not only a shopping paradise but also a place to be involved with the upcoming festival.
It is a great project both for buyers and sellers. Selling is an art of wits. The blanket-vendor is dressing himself up to attract more potential buyers. In addition to appearance promotion, there is also ad promotion. The chef hat reads “selling at a loss”. And sometimes, students after class turn out to be participants of the market business.
Tongyuanju market becomes more popular than usual as the Chinese New Year nears. Red envelopes and couplets as ways of expressing good wishes are in great demand.
Here are some most famous open-air markets in Chongqing to find the traditional life of the locals.
1.Shuangbei Youyilou (“双碑游艺楼” in Chinese) on Sundays
2.Shibati Flea Market in Yuzhong District (“十八梯旧货市场” in Chinses) on Saturdays and Sundays
3.Banan Tuqiao (“巴南土桥” in Chinses) on dates ending up with 1st, 4th and 7th, except 31st
4.Yuanyang Market (“鸳鸯场” in Chinese) on dates ending up with 2nd, 5th and 8th
5.Renhe Market (“人和” in Chinese) on dates ending up with 1st, 4th and 7th
6. Geleshan Market (“歌乐山场” in Chinese) on dates ending up with 2nd, 5th and 8th