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ZHOUZHUANG, China, February 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- From February 8 to 22, the ancient water town Zhouzhuang hosted a 15-day traditional celebration consisting of traditional customs to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year.

At this years 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.

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.

"Zhouzhuang chose to host the da chun niu ceremony on the first day of the Lunar New Year because it best represents the New Year wishes as an inheritance of the traditions and cultural heritage, it's also an opportunity to show international tourists the Chinese Lunar New Year customs," said Mr. Zhang, general manager of Jiangsu Water-town Zhouzhuang Tourism Company.

The event lasted one week, tourists who visited Zhouzhuang during the Chinese Lunar New Year all had the chance of touching the golden ox.

Alice Brown, a visitor from Canada, came to Zhouzhuang this year to experience a true Chinese Lunar New Year.

"I arrived on Chinese New Year's Eve and I was very excited to see such a festive town that kept all the traditions and customs which I wouldn't find in big cities, I joined the locals the next day to see da chun niu and touched the golden ox, I hope that will bring me good luck in the new year," she said. "I also visited the festival bazaars for some Spring Festival shopping, it's an unforgettable experience."

On fifth day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which was the birthday of God of Wealth, Zhouzhuang hosted the ritual when the town master and an entourage holding tributes stepped on the 100-meter "road of fortune" and prayed good fortune at the temple as well as letting the visitors through the "gate of fortune."

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.

"We focused on the Spring Festival culture and customs to create a cheerful and authentic atmosphere," said Zhang.

About Zhouzhuang

Zhouzhuang is a water town in China that has preserved 900 years of Chinese history in both its architectures and folk customs. It's an ideal destination for those wishing to explore both the natural treasures and cultural heritages with natural scenery and locals living in the original lifestyle. Zhouzhuang is also one of the only two Chinese locations listed on the New York Times "World's 52 Places to go in 2015."

For more information contact:
Zou Lei

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