The annual customs recorded by writers: ancestor worship, temple fairs, sending lanterns and burning lanterns. ……

At the end of the year, it has been a Chinese custom for thousands of years to pursue the future cautiously and reunite with the family. It’s just that the taste of the year is getting thinner and thinner in the metropolis, and the unique ceremony and attention have become superstitions. For the older generation, there is still some interest in childhood memories; Young people who struggle outside find themselves constantly wavering between competitive pressure and customs, and their belief in going home for the New Year is no longer so strong; For younger children, the Chinese New Year is almost the same as usual, nothing more than eating a good meal and receiving a lot of lucky money. For what is lost, we can only look for it in the past. If we want to find the pure flavor of the year, we have to look at it in the writer’s pen.

Send the kitchen god

In the old days, children were probably given a holiday on the 19th of the twelfth lunar month, in order to spend the next year with their families on the 23rd of the twelfth lunar month. This year is very similar to the rehearsal of the new year. According to common sense, there are many vendors buying maltose in the streets these days, which is said to be used in king of people. Lao She wrote clearly in "The Spring Festival in Beijing", "Every family in king of people started to ring as soon as it wiped black firecrackers. With the sound of guns, the paper image of the kitchen king was incinerated, and it was euphemistically called sending the kitchen king to heaven. A few days ago, there were more or less people selling maltose and glutinous rice sugar on the street, and the sugar shape was either rectangular or melon-shaped. According to the old saying: if there is sugar sticking to the mouth of the kitchen king, he will not report the bad things in his family to the jade emperor when he gets to heaven. "

Obviously, king of people’s experience left children with an unforgettable experience. Many writers think of the Chinese New Year and never forget to mention it. However, Lao She ate the flavor of Beijing, while Chen Zhongshi found the flavor of Shaanxi. "On the 23rd night of the twelfth lunar month, it was the day of offering sacrifices to the kitchen god. According to folklore, on this night, the kitchen god will return to heaven to report the food and clothing on earth, and every family will make a small round cake with five flavors, which will take him a long way to heaven for dry food and curry favor with him. That night, the spiced round cakes baked in the first pot were first presented to the hanging statue of the kitchen god. I was so greedy that I grabbed the remaining round cakes and bit them. I ate steamed buns with corn flour all winter. This spiced round cake baked with pure white flour is not to mention how fragrant it is. " ("Chinese New Year: Guns of Dreams in Hometown")

After the twenty-first day of the twelfth lunar month, every household entered a tense preparatory stage, and the year ended in near you. There are two things that are most important, one is to clean the house, that is, to clean it up, and at the same time, to count the best things in the house. The second is to prepare new year’s goods, because according to the old custom, all shops should rest before the fifth day, and no knives should be used at home, otherwise it is unlucky. Liang Shiqiu described it well. "Every family is busy taking out the tin incense burner, tin wax label, tin fruit bowl and tin saucer from the cobweb-dusted box for an annual big scrub. Palace lanterns, gauze lanterns and horn lanterns are all out of the cage. New year’s goods should also be prepared as early as possible, including dry goods used in the kitchen, dried apples used to worship the gods and ancestors, peony daffodils provided in the house, and mixed food for children. Honey supply has been ordered in Baiyun Temple for a long time, and it will be delivered to the door in a bowl of paper baskets. The size of the home, going in and out, is like a wind demon. " (See "The Year of Beiping")

family reunion during the Spring Festival

Before the League Year, we need to worship our ancestors first. There are many ambiguities among different writers about ancestor worship. Full of critical spirit, for example, Ba Jin refers to it as a feudal patriarchal tradition in "Home". "Lights are hung in the hall, and red satin embroidered screens are hung on the wooden walls on both sides. The portraits of the ancestors who lie high in the box are also taken out and hung on the wall in the middle in turn to enjoy this annual offering. " The old and young in Gao Mansion are listed in front of the shrine according to the order of male, female and left, and then the old man is invited to take the lead in greeting his ancestors. After worshipping his ancestors, each room kowtows to the old man, followed by children to their parents and servants to their masters. The hierarchy is strictly distinct.

On the other hand, Liang Shiqiu is obviously better at capturing the interest of life. He looked at the whole process with trepidation like a child, only to find that everyone was thinking about the table of New Year’s Eve. Even the portraits of ancestors are vivid. "ancestor worship is one of the climaxes of the new year. Images of ancestors hung above the hall, all of them were in their seventies and eighties, some were grinning and some were glaring, enjoying steaming amid cigarette smoke. In fact, at this time, the dutiful son and grandson kowtowed like garlic, but for some reason, they didn’t mean to pursue the distance cautiously, but everyone was busy with offering sacrifices, burning incense, lighting candles and kowtowing, followed by withdrawing sacrifices and eating New Year’s Eve dinner, so it was too late to pursue the distance cautiously.

When it comes to New Year’s Eve dinner, everyone writes one after another, one is more wonderful than the other, and the other is more attractive. Liang Shiqiu and Wang Zengqi both wrote about the year of Beijing. The dishes of the former look rougher but have Beijing flavor. "Eating is the main program of Chinese New Year. New year’s dishes are standardized, and every family is the same. People with a large population should go into the whole pig, even take the pig’s head into the water and deal with it separately. A pot of stew, plus mushrooms is a bowl, plus vermicelli is a bowl, plus yam is a bowl, a large basin of mustard mound, fish jelly, meat skin hot sauce, a jar of pickled cabbage, mustard bumps-enough. "

Wang Lao’s description is even more mouth-watering. He talked about pickled mustard. "In winter, pickled mustard. Pickling’ spicy vegetables’-Chinese cabbage is dried to remove water, pickled with mustard, and opened in the New Year. The color is as light as gold, and the spicy taste is very fragrant. I have never eaten such delicious pickles since I left my hometown. " (My Grandparents)

He also spent a lot of time describing the extreme delicacy of the New Year’s Eve dinner, and even the millet porridge was so sweet that it was amazing. "Eat jiaozi during the Spring Festival, than households. Some old Beijingers are vegetarian in jiaozi, and take vegetables, fried cakes and Kaoru Miki diced as stuffing to make them fresh and refreshing. Beginning of spring eats spring cakes every day. Shred shallot (raw), green leek or covered leek (stir-fried), mung bean sprouts, radish, sauced meat, sauced chicken and sauced duck, scrambled eggs, add less sweet flour sauce, and roll them with lotus leaf thin cakes. Everything has its own flavor, which is not confused, and it is extremely fragrant and beautiful, which is called’ five spicy dishes’. Shredded radish is essential. Beginning of spring eats radish, which is called "biting spring". It is poetic to bite in spring. When the cake is almost full, drink a bowl of stick slag porridge or millet porridge, which is called’ slip seam’, such as building a wall and grouting. " ("Four Seasons")

There is also a beautiful custom, which is probably the midnight snack on New Year’s Eve. The filial daughter-in-law will put a mark on the old man’s jiaozi and put coins in it to show good luck in the coming year to win the joy of her parents-in-law. Mo Yan wrote in "The Past Years" that "jiaozi was wrapped in money at night. My family used to wrap copper coins in the Qing Dynasty, but jiaozi, who wrapped copper coins, had a strong patina that could not be swallowed, which was equivalent to wasting a precious jiaozi, and later switched to coins. Now that I think about it, the coin is also badly dirty … Some filial daughters-in-law marked the dumpling skin when they wrapped jiaozi during the day, and when they filled jiaozi at night, they filled their in-laws’ bowls with money, so as to win the joy of the old man. One year, in order to eat jiaozi with money, I ate three bowls at a time, but the money was not eaten. As a result, my stomach was broken and I almost died. "

temple fair

On New Year’s Day, men often visit relatives and friends and pay New Year greetings everywhere. And women have been busy for a whole year, and finally they can put down their housework and go out. Of course, the shops are closed, but many monasteries inside and outside the city are open. Business-minded vendors can set up stalls outside the temple and earn a small sum of money. Some buy buy antiques and jades, some show variety, and some prepare some special food in winter.

Lao She is an authentic Beijinger. He directly told the readers that "the Dazhong Temple outside the North City, the Baiyun Temple outside the West City, and the Fire Temple (Factory Dian) in the South City are the most famous … Except for a small hole in the door of the oil and salt shop, the shops are all on the board, and there are often gongs and drums ringing, pounding and knocking, and it is said that the guys are there to vent their accumulated grievances for a year. The girls and kannika nimtragol are all out, and the mothers in Sanhe County have put a trembling red velvet flower in their heads. Where there are big girls and little wives out there, there are more hairy boys crawling around. So the factory was packed, and there was nothing to see in Haiwang Village except a few open-air teahouses and children with runny noses, but the entrance could crowd people to death! The antique jade stall in the Temple of Fire and the bookstall and painting shed in the Land Temple are much more busy than buying things. It’s sunny and snowy, and the streets are muddy. When the cool wind blows, the water drops into ice, and people roll in the snow and ice, so they are as sweet as a clam. Drink bean juice, and you’ll get pickled vegetables, glass horns and big sand geese’, which still has enough temptation for everyone. In addition, such as the Temple of Wealth, Baiyun Temple and Yonghe Palace, people are crowded and people look at people. When you go, your nose and ears will be red with cold. "

If you like playing mahjong, you can also go to the eight hutongs. The original gambling ban was lifted even before the Lantern Festival. "There are excellent dominoes, hardwood tables and beautiful women. However, during the Chinese New Year, almost every family gambles, pushing Pai Jiu, Zhuang Yuanhong, and yelling for six, Xian Yi, young and old. " (Lao She’s Spring Festival in Beijing)

Burn a lamp

For children, perhaps the most anticipated thing in the New Year is firecrackers. According to the calendar, from the first day to the twelfth day, it is called "sending lights", and from the thirteenth to the fifteenth day, it is called "burning lights", and burning lights has become a small competition for fireworks. In front of us, we talked more about the Spring Festival in the north, so we might as well look back at Shen Congwen, a talented person in western Hunan.

The firecrackers simply became a symbol of courage. "As usual, I with urchin qualification, and hundreds of size urchin, follow the team everywhere, and everyone in the fireworks to kill. Those who play with lights should not only rely on strength, but also be brave. To show that the hero is fearless, every time the fireworks in the stadium rise, the white light pours down several feet, and some of them roar like thunder. However, these people have to go into battle shirtless as usual, regardless of whether it’s "thunderbolt" or "tiger coming down the mountain". We are too young to participate in such strenuous activities, so we can only cheer while we are busy. Because we can always follow the team, the horses don’t stray, until it is almost white, and everyone is burned out and exhausted. The team was accompanied by an old fisherman and a clam shell essence. As usual, the clam shell essence chose a handsome boy of 12 or 13 years old to act as it. The old fisherman’s white beard and white hair were all in their original shape, which was ridiculous. "

Of course, girls also like to play. Perhaps everyone still has some impressions of Bing Xin’s favorite "Didi Jin", because it is the most reassuring fireworks for parents. "It’s just that I can’t squeeze into their band! I can only set off some firecrackers that my father bought for us during the day and some fireworks at night. The big one is put on the ground in a tube, and the fire tree and silver flowers are very bright! My favorite is the smallest and simplest’ Didi Jin’. It’s a small paper twist with a little gunpowder, which can be lit in your hand and sniffed, and a little spark will burst out. " (Spring Festival in Childhood)

Ba Jin also saw the social suffering behind "burning lamps". Most people who play dragon lanterns are lean laborers, but they become cruel victims in the carnival of everyone. The bearers took turns to "shoot fireworks at the naked upper body of the dragon lantern player." Burning these people "has changed the color of their flesh", but the cheerful audience did not give up, but continued to "burn desperately" with fireworks. Chueh-hui couldn’t help asking, "Do you think a person should base his happiness on the suffering of others? Do you think you can burn other people’s bodies with fireworks as long as you pay? "

Some of the above customs, dishes and fastidiousness about the Chinese New Year are outdated, perhaps disgusting, while others are sadly disappearing. But it is important to let people give the best expectation for life in a specific ceremony at the moment when the old and the new are alternating, to relive the acquaintance with the really important people, and to remember the hidden and forgotten interest in life itself.