On the Chinese New Year Eve, I went to a place called “Yuan Jia Village” (“袁家村”)，to explore the folk culture of Guan Zhong (關中) region.
The holiday season is the best time for people to seek blessing from the Gods and Goddesses. There are couples of temples inside the village for people to communicate their wishes with the Gods and the Goddesses.
The old traditions at Lunar New Year
The traces of old traditions is scattered around the village, such as the ancient style water well, the grain grinder, the stage for local opera show, and the place for people to get together to play Ma Jiang (麻將)， etc..
There are also some crafts, such as the little people or tiny animals made of flour, the two – dimensional creatures made of melt candy, and the slingshots which are favored by young boys.
The red is the favorite color during Chinese New Year celebration. Family members usually put the red couplets on each side of the entrance plus a red cross – link on the top. The red flowers with a symbol “luck” (“福“) or many red stickers with blessing words written on them are hung on tree branches to wish people a prosperous new year.
All young girls dress in red jacket during New Year’s celebration. This little girl stopped and smiled to let me take her picture.
The local foods
The street sides are filled with various stands to sell local foods, snacks or drinks.
I was surprised to see couple of stands serving donkey meat, or donkey feet, even boast that the soup made of donkey meat has benefits to health. I didn’t dare to give a try on any of them. The tea is boiled in some teapots of couple of feet tall. The buns are steamed inside bamboo steamers, sometimes the foods are served using huge porcelain bowls with blue flower patterns and diameter as big as almost a foot.
The home brewed wines are welcomed by many local people. Usually there are many kinds of wines stored in sealed black pots, and displayed on the counter of the stores for people to select. But I noticed one kind of wine called “scorpion” (“蝎子“), and I was seriously doubt anybody has enough gut to give a try!
The distinct stores
Some street – side stores offer visitors with unique products.
One of them is selling wine containers made of gourds.
Another store has a name “Dreamy Blue Flowers” (“夢裡青花“) , which sells jewels all made of blue porcelains displayed insides the “caves” on the walls.
Another store has a name “Girl Friend’s Store” (“女朋友的店“), inside a beautiful young girl is making and selling soaps.
I ran into a photography studio, which lets customers select the fashions designed based on the local traditional styles. The staffs in the studio can also serve as hairdressers of their customers before photo shots.
Walking along a street, by chance I ran into a lady who was operating her business and at the same time taking care of her young son. The warmth was aroused in my heart at the moment I pressed down camera shutter.