Traditional culture is celebrated at festival

By Yuan Shenggao| (China Daily )| Updated : 2019-09-30

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For many local residents in Weifang Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone in Weifang city, Shandong province, the Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept 13 is not just a day for family reunion, but also a day to learn about traditional culture.

Weifang people have unique ways to celebrate the annual Mid-Autumn Festival.

One is to gift handmade steamed buns decorated with dates to friends and family members to wish them a happy and lucky year. Local people call this practice nian yue er.

The specially-made steamed buns are fashioned in different shapes like rabbits and flowers.


Locals called the buns yue er, which literally translates to "the moon". And nian yue er, or nian yue, means worshipping the moon.

This year, the zone launched the first Nian Yue Festival to mark this unique tradition.

A series of cultural events including a stage performance, a steamed buns making contest, a folk forum, a photography expo and a cycling competition were organized to celebrate the festival.

Local officials said the events will help promote the local traditional culture across all generations.

Twenty families were invited to a yue er-making contest on Sept 8.Children had a lot of fun by designing rabbits, hedgehogs and even sweet osmanthus-shaped steamed buns, according to the zone's officials.

"When I looked at those children, I felt like I was back in my own childhood. I recalled sweet moments when my mom made buns for me," said Huang Dongmei, a resident in the zone. "Those children demonstrated their talent in designing the buns. I hope this tradition can be passed on from generation to generation."

Zhang Xueqi, a student from Zhuo Jing School, made a bun with six flowers, including one sunflower, which is the school flower of Zhuo Jing.

"I wish for all of my friends to have happiness throughout the year," Zhang said.

A ceremony was held on Sept 11 to celebrate the opening of the Nian Yue Festival. A music video, created by composer He Muyang and sung by Deputy Director of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions Art Troupe Huo Jing, impressed the audience.

Gao Liyuan, an official of Qingchi subdistrict in the zone, said the Nian Yue Festival gave a big boost to local traditional culture.

In recent years, local culture such as paper-cutting has been promoted by the zone's government.

The zone's officials said they hope to boost regional economic development by creating cultural confidence among residents. In 2019, the zone ranked No 21 among 168 national-level economic zones in China.