2016/04/06

Drinking Customs on Festivals

 

The important festivals of a year enjoyed by Chinese are accompanied by corresponding drinking activities, such as the "calamus wine" on Dragon Boat Festival, the chrysanthemum wine on the Double Ninth Festival and the New Year Wine on the New Year's Eve.

In some places such as Jiangxi, the local people will gather and drink together upon completion of rice transplantation activity in spring as well as for celebrating a good harvest.

So every family gets drunk each time a feast is over. Festivals are days for celebration to Chinese people, in which a gala feast is the best way to express the joy. However, each festival features its own wine and rules of drinking according to different seasons and customs.

There are many drinking customs in minority regions too. The drinking customs on big festivals are the most vigorous part in Chinese wine culture and it is also an indispensable part of people's life.

Tusu Wine for the New Year


According to ancient customs, people in each family will drink Tusu Wine together at the beginning of a new year. It’s said that Tusu Wine is a kind of medicinal liquor that can avoid plague.

Wines on Spring Sacrifice


The first day of the second month in lunar calendar, also called the Spring Sacrifice, is the festival when people offer sacrifices to the god of the land and pray for a bumper harvest. People are used to drinking Zhonghe Wine and Yichun Wine on that day since they believe the wines can cure ear diseases. Thus they are also called "deafness-healing liquors".

Wines on Dragon Boat Festival


The Dragon Boat Festival falling on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month is celebrated for exorcising evil spirits and bad influences and detoxification. On that day people usually drink the calamus wine and realgar wine.

Osmanthus-flavored Wine on Mid-autumn Festival


It's a tradition in China to drink somanthus-flavored wine on Mid-autumn Festival. The wine has a long standing in China, which appeared as early as 2300 years ago in Warring States Period. Records about the wine are also found in Chu Ci.

Chrysanthemum Wine on Double Ninth Festival


On the ninth day of the ninth lunar month comes the Double Ninth Festival, when people in all dynasties will climb mountains, appreciate chrysanthemums and drink chrysanthemum wine. The custom has lasted till today. According to Compendium of Materia Medica, frequent chrysanthemum wine drinking will help "cure headache, improve eyesight and hearing and remove all diseases". It's obvious that the drinking customs in big festivals in China is also deeply related to scientific health preservation.

New Year's Wine Enjoyed by Korea Nationality


The wine is usually distilled before the Year Beginning Festival (equivalent to the Spring Festival of Han nationality) celebrated by the Korea nationality. The wine is mainly made of rice, coupled with multiple herbs such as balloon flower, radix sileris, Japanese pepper and cinnamon. It is similar to Tusu Wine enjoyed by Han nationality but different in herbal recipe. The wine is made for drinking and entertaining guests during the Spring Festival and people believe it can exorcise evil spirits and prolong life.

New Paddy Wine Enjoyed by Hani Nationality


Every year before the harvest time, the Hani nationality residing in Yuanjiang River region, Yunnan will hold a grand "new paddy wine" ceremony to celebrate plentiful corns and pray for the safety of dwellers and livestock. A lucky day is picked for the ceremony, on which each household will prepare a good feast and the "new paddy wine" for each family member. Everybody shall drink the wine and enjoy the feast to their heart's content.

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