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Festival and folk custom
  Spring Festival
Spring Festival is the New Year in Chinese traditional calendar, and is in February of next year in general.  Among the festivals in a year, the Spring Festival is the richest in our traditional flavor.  It begins two weeks before date, when shops are decorated, business hours prolonged, and a great deal of commodities for Spring Festival are supplied.  The firecrackers, fireworks and various foods are very popular at that time.  In 1993, Jinan Municipal People’s Government has promulgated the regulation to ban playing firecrackers and fireworks.  Therefore the traditional custom of firecrackers and fireworks letting off in festivals has become history.

In the three days vocation in Spring Festival, many families would decorate their houses by colored ribbon and lantern, and farmers in suburban areas would stick the Spring Festival couplets on their doors and cut paper for windows.  Every family would do Spring Festival shopping and prepare gifts for friends or relatives.  On the eve of Spring Festival, all members of family would gather together to enjoy their meals, make dumplings, and sit up the night. From Spring Festival to Lantern Festival, the flower fair, temple fair and lantern fair are the major folk activities. The citizens of Jinan, overseas compatriots and foreigners are attracted by the huge and grand folk music performance, story-telling, and the prosperous market for Spring Festival. 

Lantern Festival

The fifteenth day of 1st lunar month is also called Lantern Festival or Yuanxiao (first full moon) Festival. In Jinan, the Yuanxiao Lantern Fair held annually looks very magnificent. Whether in parks, factories or along avenues and lanes, all places are decorated with various lanterns. During the night, all kinds of festival lanterns, such as palace lantern, silk lantern, fish-shaped lantern, flower-basket shaped lantern and horse-running shaped lantern, would shed their rays colorfully. The Baotu Spring Lantern Fair has been held with its own character annually in particular. The flower-shaped lantern, birds or animal shaped lantern, running horse lantern, story lantern, and riddle lantern with different styles and local characters gives us the impression of magnificence, simplicity, or ingenuity. On this day, Yuanxiao (sweet dumpling made of glutinous rice flour) would be very popular in every family.In addition, there are some people who would walk on stilts, play land boat and dragon lantern, and perform lion dance before or after the Lantern Festival. Through integrating some fairy tales, legends, historic stories, feelings of love and hate, and the beautiful hopes with these traditional folk arts, people enjoy themselves in the festival.

Mid-Autumn Festival
On the 15th day of 8th lunar month, it is Mid-Autumn Festival, another important folk festival in China. It’s also the date that family members gather together. During this festival, people must eat the moon cake. In the market, there are many moon cakes in Beijing tastes, Canton tastes, and Suzhou tastes. In recent years, the citizens of Jinan prefer to eat the moon cakes in Suzhou and Canton tastes.
National Day
Among the legal holidays, National Day is the most important. The period of National Day is period of most beautiful time in Jinan. The both sides of street are decorated by blooming flowers, national flags and color flags. The red lanterns decorate the gates of departments and stores. A lot of programs are performed in every theater. During the night, the outlines of tall and large buildings are delineated by the neon light that is seldom seen in other time. All members of family have travelled outside and are drunk in the happiness of the festival.   
Double Ninth Festival
The 9th day of the 9th lunar month is our traditional Double Ninth Festival in China. According to the legend, on the occasion of this day, people would climb up the high mountain to avoid the evil things and hope to live happily and peacefully.
In Jinan, people would climb up the Thousand-Buddha Hill on this day.  Meanwhile, this day is decided as date of the temple fair of Thousand-Buddha Mountain. Therefore, it is very lively on this day. Although climbing up the mountain is not for avoiding the evil, people still like to climb up Thousand-Buddha Mountain for its plentiful and famous local food and products.
 
Date:2006-11-6 14:26:49 From:sdnews    
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