Enchanting Customs and Diversified Culture (1)

  • offcial website of Beijing Expo 2019 2016-06-06 10:14:22

Guichuan (Yanqing), carrying the enduring history of thousands of years, where live the straightforward, optimistic, and generous people with charming personality of honesty, kindness, industry, and wisdom, inherits the distinctive local cultural awareness. The enchanting customs in Guichuan embody its regional cultural features, forming the unique life style and folk culture. If comparing Guichuan culture to a leafy tree, the routine life concerning the local people’s food, clothing, residence, and traveling are the roots deep in fertile soil. The local customs reflected from the local routine life show the rich local characteristics, and are closely related to people’s production and life, constituting the basis of Guichuan culture.

Culture in Yanqing with Folk Characteristics

Local Entertainment Fair

Yanqing Entertainment Fair, with a long history, had become an important form of recreation in festivals as early as 400 years ago, with performers “singing and dancing in all streets and lanes, with audiences surrounding for appreciation”, creating a lively scene. Yanqing Entertainment Fair has various forms, of which Land Boating is of the greatest influence, and Walking on Stilts is with the most kinds of performances. Performances are interesting, based on folk customs, with movements of boldness and elegance, power and flexibility, accompanied by popular music, warmly and forcefully.

Land Boating: Land Boating is of the greatest influence in Yanqing Entertainment Fair, combining the folk literature, painting, music, and dancing, with very high artistic and aesthetic value, thus becoming the favorite of the masses. After hundreds of years of evolution, Land Boating has developed in the form from one boat to three boats and several land boats, with performance routines up to more than 30.

Walking on Stilts: Walking on Stilts, with props easy to make and carry, can be performed flexibly by individual. Because the stilts increase the height of performance, looking like flexible stages, the program grows popular among performers and audiences. In palmy days, there are over one hundred of kinds of Walking on Stilts performances in Yanqing with three performance forms of Teasing Stilts, Walking Stilts and Running Stilts.

Old Yangko: Old Yangko enjoys the longest history in Jiangjiatai and Taiping Street of Yanqing. It shows the happy scene of Huang Santai receiving the Imperial Yellow Jacket bestowed by the emperor in Qing Dynasty. Performers hold props or instruments, performing a variety of routine skills and tricks, one after another, accompanied by percussion music with rich local characteristics.

Henpeck Balancing Lamp on Head: Adapted from the homonymous Hebei Clapper Opera, Henpeck Balancing Lamp on Head in Xiaying Village deletes the lyrics and spoken parts of the opera and absorbs dancing elements. The performances are full of wit and humor with rich flavor of life and exaggerated movements.

Bamboo Hobbyhorse: In Yanqing, Bamboo Hobbyhorse of Nanguan Village, Yongning County is the most typical one. It presents scenes of escorting Wang Zhaojun to marry beyond the frontier for making peace with Xiongnu, composed of 18 performers respectively acting Wang Zhaojun, the escorting officials, soldiers in Han Dynasty, and the welcoming officials of Xiongnu. Frames of the props are made of bamboo strips, covered with white cloth by pasting, and then painted with colors by craftsmen. Performers, holding their own props on the clearing, make various routine movements when moving forward.

Twisting Yellow River Lantern Array: Twisting Yellow River Lantern Array (hereinafter referred to as Yellow River Lantern Array), is mainly popular in east Yanqing. According to Annals of Yanqing in Qing Dynasty under the reign of Emperor Qianlong, “Lanterns are lighted in the Lantern Festival for three nights, used as either Yellow River Lantern Array in total of 360 lanterns or Omnipresent Qi Lantern Array with up to 500 lanterns.” Yellow River Lantern Array enjoys the greatest popularity in lantern shows. This serial array covers an area of 1.5 mu and consists of 365 lanterns, representing stars of Heaven and the 365 days in a year of the Mortal World.

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