East China residents ring in Chinese New Year with bells, whips

Chinese New Year

People in east China’s Jiangsu Province whipped a fake farm bull and rang the temple bell on Thursday to celebrate the Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival in China.

Whipping the farm cattle at the start of a year is an old tradition in Zhouzhuang a town in Suzhou city, that dates back to the Zhou Dynasty (1100 BC – 256 BC) to mobilize spring farming and pray for a good harvest.

“First whip for good weather, second whip for fertile land, third whip for an auspicious beginning…,” one person said.

After all the 10 whips were finished, local residents and tourists rushed to touch the bull to get blessings.

“I came for good luck as it is so festive and bustling here. We will be very happy in the Year of the Goat,” a tourist said.

“In the New Year, I wish everybody good health and all the best,” another tourist said.

While in the capital city of Nanjing, people queued in front of the famed Qixia Temple early in the morning to ring the bell as they did at templs across the province Thursday. Ringing the bell is a traditional practice to usher in the New Year and pray for blessings.

“I come every year. I think this is the best way to celebrate the New Year. Ringing the bell between the old and the new year may bring me good luck,” a bell ringer said.

“I wish all my family members happy, healthy and safe New Year, because I think health and safety are the best fortune,” another ringer said.

“May all the wishes come true and everything goes well. I hope I can get full scores in every examination,” a girl said.