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Recycling Tradition: Culture, History, and Political Economy in the Chrysanthemum Festivals of South China

  • Helen F. Siu (a1)

In the mid-nineteenth century, a gentleman in Xiaolan having the Mai surname wrote in his memoir:

Age eighteen, the forty-seventh year of Qianlong's reign [1782], there was a chrysanthemum festival. Each major surname group put on floral displays, and six platforms were set up throughout the town. There were scores of theatrical troupes whose performance brought together kinsmen and friends. The tradition of the festival started that year.

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