A good hair day: Chinese observe ancient tradition by getting first trim of Lunar New Year on day dragon lifts its head

Ancient Longtaitou festival is seen as a lucky date for a visit to the barber

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 March, 2018, 2:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 April, 2018, 1:52pm

Mainland Chinese packed their local barber shops and hairdressing salons over the weekend for a festival that is believed to be an auspicious time for people to get their first haircut of the Lunar New Year.

The Longtaitou Festival, which means “the dragon lifts its head”, falls on the second day of the second month in the lunar calendar.

This year it fell on Sunday, and it is seen as a harbinger of warmer weather.

Its roots lie in ancient times when the dragon – believed in Chinese mythology to be the king of all creatures and the ancestor of all humans – starts to awaken.

It was believed that the dragon brought much-needed rain to farmers when it lifted its head to the skies.

Some Chinese believe getting their cut on Longtaitou will bring good luck for the rest of the year. For similar reasons, many avoid getting their hair cut in the first month of the lunar calendar.

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The Beijing News reported that customers started queuing outside one traditional barber shop in the capital at 5am.

The shop, named the Silian, usually opens at 9am but for several decades it has been opening two hours early on Longtaitou.

Such was the demand from customers this year that it issued 500 entry tokens for those queuing up outside and ordered an extra 1,500 towels and 1,000 hairdressing capes.

Meanwhile, a salon in Guiyang, Guizhou’s provincial capital, received three times the number of customers it usually receives, according to a report in Thepaper.cn.