West Coast New Area

Old bazaar still a hit

By XIE CHUANJIAO in Qingdao, Shandong | (China Daily) | 2023-02-01

Residents in Qingdao, Shandong province, created a bustling, festive atmosphere as they flocked to a centuries-old bazaar to shop on Jan 8 ahead of Spring Festival, China's most important holiday.

Poli Bazaar in Poli town, part of the Qingdao West Coast New Area, is more than 300 years old. This year, the marketplace's shopping event coincides with the province's Yellow River Bazaar campaign and will include a series of commercial and cultural activities that are scheduled to run through mid-February.


Chefs cook special snacks for visitors at a food stand at the Poli Bazaar in Qingdao, Shandong province. CHINA DAILY

The Yellow River Bazaar aims to promote commercial, cultural and tourism products along the Yellow River and spread traditional culture.

Sixteen cities in Shandong are holding a series of activities, including rural fairs, online shopping festivals and cultural experience events.

The bazaar aims to boost consumption and promote local branded products, officials said.

On Jan 8, the atmosphere at the marketplace was warm and exciting. Folk performances, including a Poli drum performance, a Maoqiang opera show, a dragon dance and yangko (a folk-style dance) attracted crowds. Handmade crafts and foods such as shell lacquerware, wheat straw painting and Poli roasted meat also drew attention.

Dong Pan, a local resident, said the old bazaar remains as popular as ever.

"Online shopping is convenient, but it can't recreate the live atmosphere of the bazaar," the 44-year-old said. "The bazaar always gets crowded when the 12th lunar month arrives. I purchase necessities for the New Year there and enjoy the festive atmosphere every year."

Dong said he also hoped that more people around the country can come to the Poli marketplace after the recent optimization of COVID-19 control policies.

The Langyatai Group is a local distillery that produces baijiu (white liquor) with an alcohol content as high as 71 percent. Its products are among many being featured at this year's Poli Bazaar. Zhang Yunzhi is an executive with Langyatai's marketing department. He said that this year, the company's distillation methods have been included on the list of Shandong's intangible cultural heritage.

One hundred activities are scheduled to run through mid-February. Besides the performances, lantern shows, fairs, exhibitions and livestreaming sales are also planned.