The Chinese farmers' harvest festival this year will hold major events along the Yangtze River Economic Belt on Sept 23 to celebrate the harvest, promote culture and vitalize rural areas amid the centenary of the Communist Party of China, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Sept 1.
Three major events of the festival will be held in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province; Changsha, capital of Hunan province; and Deyang, Sichuan province, with 11 cities and provinces in the region taking part, Vice-Minister Ma Youxiang said.
Farmers will celebrate and perform in 1,652 villages of ethnic groups, praising their agricultural achievements while enjoying the events held especially for them.
The annual festival started in 2018. It falls on the same day as the Autumnal Equinox each year, one of the 24 solar terms of the Chinese lunisolar calendar.
China adopted a law on the promotion of rural vitalization in April, fixing the festival in a legal form for the first time.
"Nearly 100 activities, such as cultural research, product promotion, folk festivals and farmers' competitions will be organized," Ma said, adding that each county is preparing a special activity that is close to farmers' regular production and life.
Focusing on farmers' happiness and needs, this year's festival will promote a series of new policies and measures that benefit them, as well as the civil law and rural vitalization. It will also feature a free clinic week.
"The farmers' sense of achievement, happiness and safety are the most important criteria for evaluating the success of the harvest festival," Ma said.
This year's festival is a celebration for farmers and also a grand event for urban residents.
Modern agricultural exhibitions and rural food appreciation events are expected to draw many visitors.
"The lively and popular activities will stimulate the passions of the farmers and residents," Ma said.
The festival will continue to integrate farming culture and display cultural resources with local and ethnic characteristics.
It will feature cultural activities such as farmers' concerts, rural photography, calligraphy and painting.
Achievements in smart agriculture and a digital village will be on display during the festival to integrate traditional culture with modern civilization, Ma said.
"It will have both rustic flavor and cultural charm," he said.
The festival aims to celebrate the bumper harvest while increasing farmers' incomes.
The ministry will launch a "golden autumn consumption season "with other departments to promote urban and rural consumption.
Tang Ke, head of the ministry's market and economic information department, said one function of modern festivals is to stimulate consumption.
Starting on Aug 31, the autumn consumption season will last for three months, during which a series of promotional measures will be carried out on platforms including Taobao, JD and Douyin.
Exhibition sales and livestream commerce will be encouraged to bring agricultural products out of the mountains to dining tables, Tang said.
He added that the festival is a good opportunity to publicize laws for farmers and mobilize the creativity of farmers, who contribute wisdom and strength to promote rural vitalization and agricultural modernization.