Angst Over State-Managed Festivals

In the aftermath of Chinese New Year, many Chinese citizens give skeptical reviews of the government’s attempt to bring traditional Chinese folk festivals back into state holidays. From the Inter Press Service:

“Any resemblance to the elaborate imperial sacrifices to heaven and earth of the past was lost in these caricature performances of poorly trained travelling troupes from the provinces,” columnist Zhang Min wrote of his experiences at the capital’s Temple of Earth in the ‘Beijing News.’

The exquisite works of artisans that once adorned Beijing temple fair stalls — Peking opera masks, figurines made of painted dough and modelled on legendary figures, intricate kites and embroidered clothes — have now been replaced with “ubiquitous and cheap mass produced trinkets,” Zhang complained.

Many folk customs were outlawed during the Cultural Revolution.


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