“The banquet begins!” At noon of January 18, the “1,000-meter-long feast” began with the loud voice after the sacrifice and blessing ceremony at Zhongshan Ancient Town, a National Famous Historical and Cultural Town.
Red lanterns were hung at every door, and the old street was crowded with tourists. Besides, the town was perfumed with the smell of various delicacies and filled with laughter, cheers, and shouts of the finger-guessing game.
With a history of nearly 1,000 years at Zhongshan Ancient Town, the “1,000-meter-long feast“ is a traditional folk custom that originated from the Song Dynasty. In Spring Festivals and other major traditional festivals since old times, vendors, tourists, porters, and other people in the ancient town couldn’t go home due to the distance. Therefore, the residents would hold a banquet along the street and provide those people with accommodation for free. The street is more than 1,000 meters long, hence the name “1,000-meter-long feast".
On the 1,132-meter-long old street, there are 145 tables filled with Ciba (a Chinese glutinous rice cake), zajiu (‘sipped’ wine), smoked tofu, and other local delicacies. The locals and tourists from all over the country enjoy the feast together to welcome the Spring Festival.
Gong Nanfu, who has been engaged in catering on the street for more than a decade, said, “Today is the busiest day of the year, and relatives and friends come here for a reunion.” Having been experiencing the banquet for 15 consecutive years, Gong told us that the ancient town is gathering more and more tourists, and the feast is getting busier and busier as the town develops better and better.
As the Spring Festival is drawing near, Zhongshan Ancient Town in Jiangjin District starts to light up lanterns, filling the ancient town with an energetic festive atmosphere.
Zhongshan Ancient Town, commonly known as Sanhechang or Longdongchang, lies on the bank of the Bamboo Creek in the south of Jiangjin District. After nearly 1,000 years, Zhongshan Ancient Town still retains its original style and was named National Famous Historical and Cultural Town in 2005.
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