During Lantern Festival: “Xing Tongji”- walking through Tongji Bridge
Speak of the typical local customs in Foshan, Xing Tongji is the most popular one, celebrating the Lantern Festival every year.
“Xing” in Cantonese means “walk” and “Tongji” is the name of an old bridge in Foshan. On the very night of the Lantern Festival, numerous local citizens will simultaneously flood to Tongji Bridge, holding lanterns and windmills, and line up to walk through the Tongji bridge. Crowds, lights and cheers would turn the old bridge to a luminous happy world.
There would be a large lettuce pool preparing for locals. In fact, the word “lettuce” known as “shēng cài” which sounds just as same as “shēng cái” in Chinese and the latter one means “earn money and gain fortune”, so traditional Foshan residents would throw lettuces into the pool and wish a good luck for them and their families.
Winter in Foshan is comfortable and lively, why not pay a visit during the Chinese New Years and be a part of the happy crowd?
Location: Jinyujie Street, Chancheng District, Foshan
Best time to visit: the night on the Lantern Festival every lunar year
Tip: the celebration usually starts at 19:00. Better not to be late or you may encounter some traffic jam.
On Spring Festival: “Wu Xingshi” - Guangdong Lion Dancing
In China, lions have been widely regarded as sacred guarding animals which could sweep out misfortune as well as bring back good lucks. Maybe because Foshan is the birthplace of lion dancing in Guangdong and the whold Southern China, lion dancing is more popular here than in any other domestic cities.
“Xingshi” in Chinese means “an awake lion”, however, it was firstly known by Chinese as “Nanshi” meaning “lions of the south”. Due to the less glorious history of the country in late Qing Dynasty, the western society called China as “a sleeping lion”, hence those patriotic lion dancing masters changed the lions’ original name into “an awaken lion” to express their enthusiasm and love to their motherland.
From the very morning of the Spring Festival, lion dancing performances will begin and last until the end of Lantern Festival. Dense drumbeats with loud firecrackers wake the whole city up. When people come out of their homes, the lion-dancing masters dress up their costumes and the performances begin. Since it’s a kind of folk dance mixed with martial art and music, the interesting street shows light up the city as well as the surrounding rural areas with traditional Cantonese art. Along with the lively noise, New Year has come down to Foshan.
Best time to visit: Chinese New Year
Watch Cantonese Opera at Qionghua Grand Theater
As Peking opera’s significance to Chinese culture, the Cantonese opera is the very highlight among traditional culture of southern China as well as the most popular form of art in Guangdong Province. Zhou Enlai, a respected Prime Minister of the PRC, highly praised Cantonese opera as “Pearl of Southern China”.
However, Foshan is the exact place for you to experience the most authentic Cantonese opera for being the birthplace of it. Choose whatever you want to see and book a ticket online, trust me, you will have a wonderful experience at Qionghua Grand Theater. You may probably find out that some new understanding about Chinese culture has come up in your mind.
Cantonese dramas and movies also share the stage at Qionghua Grand Theater.
Location: NO.22, Zumiaolu Road, Chancheng District, Foshan
Best time to visit: all year round
How to go: Take Tour Bus NO.4 and get off at Zumiao Station, you will get Qionghua Grand Theater.