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New Year Celebrations in Central China in Late Imperial Times

New Year Celebrations in Central China in Late Imperial Times (Hardback)

£33.50
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Synopsis

This study, which has been conducted in the spirit of a symbologically inclined anthropology, explores one of the major manifestations of Chinese popular tradition - the celebration of the New Year in a lunar calendar of very ancient origins. Focus here is on the various New Year customs of central China, the area of the extended lake-land in the mid Yangzi valley. The time is that of the late empire. A multitude of folk practices are analyzed within a holistic perspective on Chinese traditional society and the yield is a new picture of a world of the past in which the social rhetorics of gender, lineage continuity and ancestry are challenged by ritual manifestations of iconic symbolism. These symbolic constructs provide contrastive structural alternatives and a counterpoint to accepted social discourse. Through this study of Chinese imagery, the traditional calendar reveals new stories about the social organization of time as an expression of existential concerns in Chinese social life of the past.

Goran Aijmer is professor of social anthropology at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and is currently associated with the Gothenburg Research Institute.

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