“Longhua Evening Bell” is one of famous “Eight Scene in Shanghai”, which can comparable with “Midnight Bell” of Hanshan Temple outside Gusu City. On New Year’s Eve every year, thousands of Chinese and foreign tourists gather in Longhua Temple in order to toll the Buddhist evening bell for 108 times, praying for blessings to meet auspiciousness, and seeing the New Year in altogether. It is of infinite interest that the historical relics exhibition of musical instruments used in the Buddhist or Taoist mass, guess folk lantern riddle, overlay New Year postmark and activity of sending wishes through sutra streamers, etc. While the characteristic items of large-scale on lifting off the fireworks, square false masks revel, “Auspicious Longhua Tree—making a vow through the swan goose” have formed the grand scene of “gala night with fiery trees and silver flowers” even more, which demonstrate a happy and auspicious atmosphere of seeing the New Year in. The whole activity will last from the night of New Year’s Eve to the next morning, the activity rises on after another, therefore, it has gained good reputation of “New Year’s 1st Tourist Place of Shanghai City”.
Welcoming the spring with Gao Drum: The 66 representatives of the citizens strike “the Longhua Gao Drum” together to welcome the new lucky year. Lucky photo-taking: The photographer will record the moment of the 66 honorable guests striking the drum with his camera, and the photo will be presented to the 66 honorable guests after elaborate execution. Dragon of wish and good luck: The 66 representatives of the citizens hang the dragon lanterns with blessings on the golden dragon’s body. Lightening blessing: At 0’clock, the orbited shooting stars fly from far and near to the stage and lighten the “Shanghai, good luck”. Exploding 108: At 0’clock, the honorable guests explode the firecrackers placed in the bell of good luck. Flying blessing: A piece of silk cloth with the signatures and blessings of the 66 honorable guests flies into the Longhua sky at night under the guiding of a rising balloon.
Strike the Buddha bell, Pray for blessings and receive good luck, and listen respectfully to the sacred lucky sound of bell from the temple, Watch the fireworks, Hold mask revel and spend the happy time at the lucky place. Tourists could participate in “The Flying Rainbow Vowing Activity”, buy “The Lucky Ties for Three Generations” composed of all kinds of animals and mascots, and then throw it on “the Longhua Lucky Tree” (“the flying Rainbow”) and entrust their nice will. This item of lightening activity is the prelude of the theme activity. The Mile Palace of the ancient Longhua temple slowly opens its gate, and the monks follow the master abbot to come out slowly, stand at the either side of the gate and wait quietly. The master abbot represents Longhua Temple to welcome the guests, and begins to wrap in ribbons the 108 honorable guests who are to strike the bell in a sacred, severe and ceremonious atmosphere. The honorable guests with ribbons on walk up to the bell tower one by one in singing voice, and strike the bell for 108 times. The guests in and outside the temple listen respectfully to the ding, receive the benefit from Buddha together, eliminate personal misfortune, pray for blessings and welcome the New Year.
The unique festival and celebration with fully historical characteristics in Shanghai At the Mid-Autumn Festival, the citizens of Shanghai could have the opportunity to be “the aristocrat of the Tang Dynasty” for one day. In “the Pleasure Pageant and Aroma of Tang Dynasty Carnival of Mid-Autumn” in Guilin Park (or the Osmanthus Park), peoples can put on any Chinese historical costume such as the dresses of the Tang Dynasty at their own wills, play the lost classical games, step on the T-stage which shows Chinese classic costume and obtain a classic portable souvenir of the Mid-Autumn Festival. This unique special Mid-Autumn Festival celebration will become another new fashion for the citizens of Shanghai to spend their holiday in the golden autumn. Guilin Park is a famous park in the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, which is classical, elegant and exquisite in style. In the golden autumn, the osmanthus are blossoming and there is flying fragrance in the park. “The Pleasure Pageant and Aroma of Tang Dynasty Carnival of Mid-Autumn” is a traditional feast relied on the centuries-old culture of osmanthus and based on the custom and scene of the Mid-Autumn Festival of the Chinese Nation. One can enjoy the osmanthus flowers, moon cakes, and osmanthus wine to spend the Mid-Autumn Festival happily. The celebration elaborately packages the noble, elegant and profound culture of the flourishing Tang Dynasty. The Mid-autumn get-togethers such as “The Large Show of The Dresses of The Tang Dynasty on The Stage” “The Fireworks and Lanterns Garden Party” “The Starlight Path of Guests in Splendid Clothes” and so on will be organically combined, and become a characteristic tourism product, which will surely attract the celebrities of all circles both home and abroad, the citizens of Shanghai and the tourist groups from China and the other countries as well to participate. In shanghai, which is usually called “Oriental Paris”, the annual splendid pageant of the dresses of the Tang Dynasty had successively invited or attracted some top-ranking specialized fashionable dress show teams such as Shanghai Fashionable Dress Company and Donghua University to participate and perform. After three years’ successful operation, “the Pleasure Pageant and Aroma of Tang Dynasty Carnival of Mid-Autumn”, which is the only large-scale get-together of show of the dresses of the Tang Dynasty on lawn, has become one of the series of activities of Shanghai Tourist Festival 2004. Jointly sponsored by Shanghai Tourism Management Committee and the People’s Government of Xuhui District, “the Pleasure Pageant and Aroma of Tang Dynasty Carnival of Mid-Autumn” will adhere to the principle of “carrying forward the traditional elegant culture of the Chinese Nation”, and preserve its characteristic of “wonderful pleasance, marvelous consumption and exquisite activity”. It will be held on September 28, 2004. In the garden party, the performing “peddleries” in the traditional dresses of the Tang Dynasty will form a historical atmosphere of “the Zhenguan bazaar”. The guests could put on any Chinese traditional historical costume and enter the park to be the leading actors in the specifically designed scene. And at the same time, the guests can sign up and compete for “Star of Tang Dress”, step on the historical T-stage of “The Starlight Path of Guests in Splendid Clothes” to show as much as you like and have the opportunity to win the honor of “Mr. Tang Dress” or “Ms. Tang Dress”. In Datang games plaza, there are various traditional historic games, which the urbanites have never played. The games have been elaborately exhumed and completely packaged, and taken on a particular charm. They could be called a Tang-styled “Carnival”, which include “Li Bai Grabs The Moon” “Ball on 15 Pillars” “Emperor Xuanzong Strikes The Drum” “Wu Gang Breaks The Osmanthus” “Hou Yi Shoots The Sun” “Official Title Promoting Picture” “Silver Snake Picture Assembling” “Jolting Sedan-chair under The Moon” and so on. The costumes and properties are hard to see, and the scene is impassioned and grand. The guests can full enjoy the games. Perhaps, they could even obtain some awards through playing games. The guests can take photos when playing games and leave a life-lasting memory. The enthusiast of Chinese historical poetry can even sign up to participate in “The Large-scale Poetry Gathering of Orange Osmanthus and Autumn Charm”, and compete with the famous poets of classical poetry of Shanghai. The activities include “Look Far Away to Pour Out One’s Heart”--composing poems according to scenes, “Game of Beating Drum and Passing Spray of Blossom”--knowledge contest of Tang’s poems, “Ingenious Writing with Couplets”--calligraphy and couplet, and “Be Excellent in Both Sounds and Rhymes”--playing the musical instruments and composing poems impromptu. For the purpose of intensifying the tourists’ illusive feelings of being in the Tang flourishing age, all the consumptions in the park will have to use the true “Tongbao Coin of Emperor Kaiyuan (Li Longji)” that we especially collected. After having enjoyed all the above-mentioned items, the guest will also obtained a portion of souvenirs including portable The Anthology Of Orange Osmanthus, folk-custom bamboo basket, specially-made moon cake, specially-made osmanthus tea, specially-made osmanthus wine and paper artistic lantern and so on, which are all of high value of collection.