Year of the Monkey Celebrated in Zhouzhuang, a Historical Chinese Water Town. At this years 15 day celebration tourists were invited to join the locals in a series of activities to get the full holiday experience that is absent in modern cities.
The carnival officially kicked off on February 8, the first day on the lunar calendar with the ceremony da chun niu, a traditional ceremony hoping for the blessings of a good harvest that involves hitting a gold colored ox to wish for good harvest in the new year, it's also a reminder to people that the spring ploughing is just around the corner.
The event lasted one week, tourists who visited Zhouzhuang during the Chinese Lunar New Year all had the chance of touching the golden ox. Tourists from around the world gathered in front of the ancient archway in the morning to see the spectacle. The town master dressed in a traditional costume first performed the ritual by burning incense as offering to ancestors, presenting rice wine as offering to heaven and earth as well as reading an oration to express good wishes for the New Year. He then hit the ox 10 times and everyone then came up to touch the ox for good luck.
This year Zhouzhuang also added new Lunar New Year activities such as the festival bazaar, Kunqu opera performance at the Ancient Opera Stage and New Year rice cake tastings at Shen's Kitchen.
Jiangsu Water Town Zhouzhuang Tourism Co, Ltd.