As the Mid-Autumn Festival is approaching
lets have a look at traditional Mid-Autumn Festival customs in Foshan
that have been passed down since ancient times!
Brick Tower Incineration
"Brick Tower Incineration" is a traditional Mid-Autumn Festival custom still observed in many Foshan villages, particularly popular in Songtang Village, Xiqiao and Xiangang Village, Danzao. In the past, during the Mid-Autumn Festival, children would gather together to build a brick tower and burn it in the open area next to the village gate with the firewood collected from villagers. It is believed that the higher the flames rise, the more auspiciousness there will be.
CCTV’s Chinese International Channel had a live broadcast of Foshan people’s celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival in the special program entitled "Legendary Chinese Festival·Mid-Autumn Festival" in 2018, where local villagers and tourists feast their eyes on the exuberant flames of Brick Tower Incineration, strolling along the streets decorated with colorful palace lanterns, having great fun under the bright moonlight.
In the past, during the Mid-Autumn Festival, families would use bamboo strips to make lanterns in the shapes of birds, beasts, fish and insects or even Chinese characters. When night falls, hundreds of festival lanterns light up, like fallen galaxy bathed under the moonlight.
Fire Dragon Dance
The Fire Dragon Dance is another Mid-autumn custom. On the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, fire dragons made of rice straw and stuck with burning incense are waved by half-naked young men. Legend has it that the Fire Dragon Dance can bring good fortune and good weather for the local crops. In Lecong, Shunde, various festivals such as Handmade Fire Gragons, Fire Dragon Parades, and Mid-Autumn Festival Tea Parties, have been inherited and carried forward in the Rural Tourism Cultural Festival.
Woodcut Cake Printing
The highlight of Mid-Autumn Festival night, undoubtedly, is admiring the moon with family members sitting together, appreciating traditional customs, and tasting delicious moon cakes! Before tasting, have you noticed the patterns printed on the moon cakes? Foshan woodcut cake printing has a history of more than 300 years. Readers of this article who were born after 1980, are very likely to have had cakes made with the cake printing molds created by Mr. Yang Haicheng, the current inheritor.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Foshans woodcut cake printing industry was in full swing. Master Yang recalled that the number of orders for cake printing molds was quite large at that time. His cake prints could be found in most restaurants in Guangzhou and Foshan and among Chinese communities in the world.
However, in recent years, traditional woodcut cake printing has been hit by the popularity of plastic moon cake molds. These woodcuts are merely regarded as handicrafts worth collecting. It is a great regret that this unique craftsmanship is going to die out.