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Mall looks to restore qiufen customs as Shanghai sizzles



Art performances and flash mob parades featuring traditional Chinese culture were launched at Shanghai’s Yuyuan Garden Malls yesterday to mark the 16th solar term qiufen, or the Autumn Equinox.

Drum, music and dance performances are being held across the malls, the dining and shopping facilities near the historic city garden, through tomorrow to restore the folk customs for autumn and harvest dating back to the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).

Some of Shanghai’s traditional customs during qiufen are presented through songs and dances, such as cricket fighting, worships to the moon and making the egg stand.

Qiufen, usually happens in late September when the sun’s elliptical longitude reaches 180 degrees around this time, with cool weather covering most regions in China.

However, the mercury soared to 35 degrees Celsius in Shanghai yesterday, triggering a yellow heat alert.

Usually, the arrival of meteorological autumn comes in this period or the following solar term, bailu. However, the highs over the next two weeks are expected to remain around 30 degrees due to the tropical high pressure, officials said.

After qiufen, days become shorter than nights, with the temperature difference growing bigger.

With osmanthus and chrysanthemum flowers blossoming and hairy crabs entering their best period, qiufen is also a busy time for farmers who will have multiple tasks to complete, including harvesting, plowing and planting.

The popular Yuyuan Garden lanterns, a listed cultural heritage of the city, are on show at the seasonal exhibition for the qiufen.

A set of lanterns displays the fully-bloomed osmanthus and chrysanthemum flowers at the Beaufort Terrace, a stage for traditional Chinese operas and cuisines. Another lantern attraction shows the “carp jumps over the dragon gate” at Wenchang Street to wish success for students in the new semester.

Kunqu operas are being presented at the Beaufort Terrace with classic operas related to the autumn season through October 10.

The malls have launched a campaign themed on the 24 Solar Terms to promote traditional culture while boosting consumption amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tourists and citizens are invited to play various traditional games, learn heritage skills and visit time-honored stores, such as the 238-year-old Tonghanchun TCM pharmacy, the Mid-Lake Pavilion, Wenchang Street and the Yuyuan Department Store in the six-story Tianyu Mansion on Jiujiaochang Road — a former military drill site during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).