Kaiding Festival celebrated in Shekou

Source: Shenzhen DailyUpdated: 2024-02-25

A festive vibe filled the air as colorful flags and lanterns adorned the streets and lion dances were staged to celebrate the Kaiding Festival, also known as the Birth Celebration Festival, at the Yu’er Village in Shekou on Feb. 22.

The festival, listed as a city-level intangible cultural heritage in 2005, is celebrated annually on the 13th day of the first lunar month. The centuries-old tradition originated in Haifeng County, Guangdong.

On the day, villagers hung lanterns outside their homes to welcome friends, families, and even strangers and treated them to Kaiding Tea, a special snack. It is believed that the more visitors turn up at a household, the more blessings the host family will receive.

In ancient times, the Kaiding Festival was a custom that was practiced on a boy’s first birthday. Families who give birth to a boy would burn incense and light candles in front of the ancestral shrine around the Lantern Festival of the following year to worship their ancestors. The families would then light lanterns and hang them in front of ancestral halls or their houses to pray for prosperity for their families. In addition, they would invite elders of the same clan, friends, and relatives to attend a banquet celebrating the first birthday of the boy. Some would even invite a theatrical troupe to perform in the celebrations.

Now, regardless of the gender of the child, and regardless whether a family has a newborn baby, residents warmly invite families and friends to their homes to share Kaiding Tea and wish each other good luck and happiness.

Copyright © Shenzhen Nanshan Information Network Center. All rights reserved.