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"Long banquet" held in southwest China to welcome Spring Festival

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A traditional "1,000-meter-long banquet" was held over the weekend in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality as locals welcome the Lunar New Year.

More than 800 tables of delicacies were presented at the banquet along a street that stretches more than a kilometer in Chongqing's Zhongshan Old Town. The food was for the hosts' relatives as well as more than 30,000 tourists.

Residents of the town traditionally hold these banquets to welcome the Spring Festival, which falls on Feb. 16 this year. In the past, the town was a busy port, and locals would prepare food along the street to cater to business people and porters who could not make it home for family gatherings.

In 2005, locals decided to boost local tourism by resuming the tradition. Each year, on weekends before the Spring Festival, families cook their best dishes beside their homes to entertain visitors.

Resident Li Chunmei prepared smoked pig trotters and sausages on Sunday. She prepared 45 tables of food for visiting gourmands.

"Hosting the banquet has always been the busiest day in town," Li said. "Business has been really good."

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