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Hechi residents celebrate Kitchen God Festival


Updated: 2024-02-08

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On Feb 2, the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month, residents of Liujia town in the Jinchengjiang district of Hechi celebrated the Kitchen God Festival, or Little New Year (Chinese: Xiaonian), usually a week before the lunar New Year. 

In 2019, the Kitchen God Festival of Liujia Zhuang ethnic group was included in the sixth batch of Hechi's intangible cultural heritage list.

Residents gathered at their local cultural park after cleaning their household stoves, conducting a ceremony to honor the Kitchen God. Dancing dragons and burning lotus lanterns led the way as they paraded through the town. They also brought candles to receive the Kitchen God's fire, praying for a prosperous year.

"As a local of Liujia town, I've witnessed my parents clean and worship the Kitchen God since I was young. Now, as the head of the household, it's my responsibility. Today, I come to receive the Kitchen God's fire to ensure a thriving year ahead, " a resident surnamed Wei said. 

A couple from Liaoning province who drove to Hechi also joined the Kitchen God ceremony in Liujia town. 

"Honoring the Kitchen God during Little New Year is our tradition, but in the north, it's mainly a gathering. Experiencing a blessing ceremony in the south for the first time is meaningful to me", said the wife surnamed Jiang. 

From Feb 2 to 3, Liujia town also hosted traditional sports competitions like tug-of-war and basketball competitions and folk activities such as a banquet and bonfire evening party.


Residents of Liujia town participate in a tug-of-war to celebrate the Kitchen God Festival. [Photo/Hechi Daily]


Residents of Liujia town perform a dragon dance to celebrate the Kitchen God Festival. [Photo/Hechi Daily]