New Year’s Day in Old Chengdu

Cover journalist He Yuyu
People in Chengdu used to run this festival with great taste, such as red banners, rice cakes, wine, new year’s greetings and long-distance running on New Year’s Day. Listen to Jiang Lan, a writer in Chengdu, telling the story of New Year’s Day in old Chengdu.
On New Year’s Day in 1946, all the members of a big family in Chengdu took photos of "family celebration" for the victory of War of Resistance against Japan. /Zheng Guanglu for the picture
Old Chengdu old customs
As the saying goes, the winter solstice is the new year. Regardless of the Gregorian calendar and the lunar calendar, as soon as the winter solstice is over, people begin to prepare for the New Year.
Jiang Lan told the cover news ( that there are many rules for New Year’s Day in old Chengdu, such as not eating in the morning (homophonic crime, committing crimes), lest stroke of bad luck; Meals are mainly dumplings and pasta, which are intended to live long and reunite; On the morning of New Year’s Day in some suburban counties, people should put nine candles outside their doors to respect heaven and earth. Nine also means that officials have nine products.
In the series of Zhuzhi Ci "Shu Zhong New Year" written by Liu Yuan, a great scholar in the late Qing Dynasty, the grand scene of Chengdu New Year at that time was also described.
"The end of the North Korea was full of noise, and it was quite soon that year." It is about the streets and alleys of Chengdu and various counties in the old days, which will be occupied by a large number of excited drum bands during the New Year, with unprecedented pomp.
"It’s lucky to burn incense, and it’s auspicious to listen to other people’s words", which depicts the scene of people going to the temple to grab incense early in the morning on New Year’s Day.
"Generally, the scenery adds new joy, and the sign-up notes are posted all over the door first." Jiang Lan explained that in those days, people dropped in on New Year’s Day to celebrate the New Year. In order not to disturb the host family’s group year, they left their "business cards" at the gate instead of entering the house.
Long-distance running in Chengdu on New Year’s Day
From 1956 to 2016, Chengdu New Year’s Day cross-country race has been held for 47 times. It is the longest cross-country race with the largest number of participants in all parts of the country, and it is also the deepest New Year memory of Chengdu people. Jiang Lan told the cover news that in fact, this event may have originated from the tradition of "swimming in all diseases" in the north.
New Year’s Day Cross-country Running in Chengdu in 2013
"Wandering all diseases", also known as "walking all diseases", has been a custom since the Ming Dynasty. It is reported that women in Beijing will travel together around the Lantern Festival, and all diseases can be eliminated after three bridges. Later, it developed into a family outing in the New Year to eliminate disasters and avoid evil spirits. In the Qing Dynasty, the Eight Banners were stationed in the Shaocheng area of Chengdu, bringing the New Year’s "Wandering All Diseases" to this city. “
In the old days, Rongcheng was a big city with a small town, and its winding walls were unique to the whole country. On the 16th day of the first lunar month, every household in Chengdu will climb the city wall and wander along the way. "At that time, there were willows all over Chengdu, and when you were sick, you could still see the newly sprouted willow branches, which was very welcoming."
At the beginning of the last century, the Qing court fell, and the new government replaced the imperial court to implement the New Deal. According to the report of China Weekly in 1934, it was a headache for the government at that time that people clung to the custom of New Year’s Day in the old calendar. "I thought that this old year was as corrupt as foot binding, stereotyped writing and opium."
According to Jiang Lan, since 1940, the Chengdu government began to hold long-distance running activities during the first month to replace the tradition of swimming in all diseases, so as to teach people to keep fit and welcome the New Year. Long-distance running starts and ends in Shaocheng Park (now People’s Park), which is very popular among citizens.
After liberation, since the late 1950s, Chengdu has carried out a 100-day running in winter. In 1956, Chengdu continued the past tradition and held a long-distance race, which was the first cross-country race in the New Year. Since then, the cross-country race time has been moved to New Year’s Day, becoming a New Year’s Day cross-country race, with tens of thousands of participants every year.
On New Year’s Day of Literature and Art
As a person who makes a living by writing, Jiang Lan has always kept the habit of trying to write in the New Year. "It’s just a short article, which is a bit diary-like. Summarize the past year and look forward to the New Year."
New year’s test pen has been around since ancient times. According to Liang Zhangju, a politician in the Qing Dynasty, this tradition can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty. Liang Zhangju said that at that time, all scholars, businessmen and businessmen would write "Zhuang Shu in two words" in red on New Year’s Day, such as "writing everything on New Year’s Day" and so on, seeking a meaning. Yu Pingbo, a red scientist, also remembers that he used to write "New Year’s Day with a pen" on red paper, and then went out to pay New Year’s greetings according to XiShen’s position on the Gregorian calendar.
New Year’s Day and New Year’s Day Picture/A Complete Picture of New Year’s Day Customs Examination
For the students who are eager for the imperial examination, "raising a pen on New Year’s Day" is especially a good color. In addition, when the old and the new turn, the literati’s thoughts are soaring, and they will try to express their feelings on New Year’s Day.
At the beginning of the last century, after the popularity of newspapers and periodicals, celebrities often published some small articles on New Year’s Day, called New Year’s Day writing test. For example, Bing Xin, Yu Pingbo, Ba Jin, Zhou Zuoren, Ji Xianlin and so on all have famous essays on this topic, either recalling old friends, worrying about the current situation, or recording some current moods.
Jiang Lan introduced that newspapers in the 1980s and 1990s also had a column on New Year’s Day, in which some writers or predecessors wrote some New Year’s feelings to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new year, but now it is gradually decreasing. "In the past, New Year’s Day was very ceremonial, but now it has also been diluted by the trend of consumption."