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Hangzhou abounds with festival activities

Wu Huixin
If you're seeking hassle-free holiday fun, look no further than Hangzhou. Here you'll find temple fairs, bonsai and papercutting exhibits, as well as opera shows.
Wu Huixin

For many, the weeklong Spring Festival holiday means long lines and crowded tourist destinations. For those who want to avoid the heaving throngs and hectic holiday experiences, Hangzhou has plenty to offer. Local government will host exhibitions and activities to celebrate the festival with performances, cultural activities and crafts. Wu Huixin has listed activities that include local traditions of Hangzhou, trendy hangouts and impeccable artistic exhibits for museum goers.

Hangzhou abounds with festival activities
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Two girls choose spring couplets and the character fu (fortune)  to wish for health and prosperity at the beginning of each Chinese New Year.

Hangzhou abounds with festival activities

Wushan Temple Fair and Lantern Show

This year, the temple fair is celebrated along with a traditional lantern show. The Lantern Festival, or Yuanxiao Jie, is observed on the 15th day of the first lunar month, marking the end of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations. This year, it falls on February 8.

Craftspeople use bamboo strips to produce lantern frames in various sizes and shapes. These ornate lanterns will light the Wushan area. This may be the most visually stunning seasonal event in the city, as the lanterns create a kaleidoscope of colors.

Wushan Temple Fair

Date: Through January 30

Address: Wushan Square, 1 Yan’an Rd

Admission: Free

Lantern show

Date: Through February 10, 5pm-8:30pm

Address: Wushan Square, 1 Yan’an Rd

Admission: 30 yuan (US$4.35) per person

Chuanghua exhibition at Yuefei Temple

People cut elaborate paper works in the Chinese New Year, plastering them on windows to create an auspicious atmosphere.

Therefore, people call the art chuanghua, which means window flowers.

This tradition has lasted for centuries, though printed plastic chuanghua now dominate the market. However, paper-cutting is still valued as an art because of its great beauty, creativeness and virtuosity.

During the holiday, 32 examples of chuanghua artwork made by Zhou Shiyi will be displayed at Yuefei Temple through March 7. Zhou is an intangible cultural heritage inheritor of paper cutting in Zhejiang Province.

Date: Through March 7

Address: 80 Beishan Rd

Admission: 25 yuan per person

Yueju Opera performance

Yueju is a Chinese opera originating in Zhejiang Province. Today, it is still popular with locals. During the holiday, three performances will be on the stage of Huanglong Cave, a traditional venue for Yueju Opera shows.

Date: January 27-29, 1:30pm

Address: Huanglong Cave, 69 Shuguang Rd

Admission: 15 yuan per person


Hangzhou abounds with festival activities
Wu Huixin

Bonsai exhibition at Qianwang Temple

Bonsai exhibition at Qianwang Temple

In essence, the bonsai represents the beauty and power of nature in a small container.

Bonsai planting has been an art of great subtlety and refinement for centuries.

At Qianwang Temple, all bonsai will be sold after the exhibition and the money will be donated to charity organizations.

Date: Through February 3

Address: 11 Nanshan Rd

Admission: 15 yuan per person

Seminars at Hangzhou Botanical Garden

Hangzhou has a long history of cultivating plum trees. For centuries, viewing plum blossoms has been a traditional activity for Chinese New Year.

The blooming period is usually followed by a drop in temperatures. The earliest starts from early January while the last blooms could flower as late as early March if the weather stays warm.

Hangzhou Botanical Garden will host a series of science events geared toward children in an effort to popularize botanical knowledge. Check the official WeChat account of the Hangzhou Botanical Garden for the latest information on activities during the holiday.

Address: 1 Taoyuanling Rd

Admission: 15 yuan

Free spring couplets and fu posters at Hangzhou Museum


Chinese people put up spring couplets and the character fu (fortune) on the entrances to their houses to wish for health and prosperity at the beginning of each Chinese New Year.

Spring couplets are written with ink brush on red vertical paper with themes on the coming of spring, New Year’s wishes and celebrations. The character fu is always written on a square red sheet with its four corners pointing toward the cardinal directions.

Hangzhou Museum has a long tradition of giving away free spring couplets and square fu to visitors during Chinese New Year. This year is no exception. People can collect auspicious couplets and fu posters by following the official WeChat account of the museum.

Date: Through January 27

Address: 18 Liangdaoshan Rd

Admission: Free

Bell-striking at Liuhe Pagoda

For locals, Liuhe Pagoda enjoys an equally important position to Leifeng Pagoda. Every Chinese New Year’s Eve it is crowded with people who want to strike the bell and pray for family and friends. This year, the bell-striking tradition will be held along with a lucky draw and performances.

Date: January 24

Address: 91 Zhijiang Rd

Admission: 30 yuan per person (the tickets are limited, buying in advance is recommended)

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