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Ceremony staged to pay tribute to legendary ancestor

By Ma Zhenhuan | China Daily | Updated: 2022-10-05 07:51

A dance performance is a part of a ceremony paying tribute to Huangdi held at the Xiandu Scenic Spot in Jinyun, Zhejiang province, on Tuesday. YAO YINGKANG/FOR CHINA DAILY

A grand ceremony paying tribute to Huangdi, a legendary ancestor of the Chinese nation who is believed to have been sovereign of a united China around 5,000 years ago, was held at the Xiandu Scenic Spot in Jinyun, Zhejiang province, on Tuesday.

Tuesday also marks the Double Ninth Festival or Chongyang Festival in China. The festival is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar every year to honor and respect elders.

The ceremony, which started at 9:50 am, used the highest sacrificial rites in ancient China, including striking bells, offering flower baskets and wine to ancestors, reading a ceremonial address and singing carols.

During the ceremony, drums were played 34 times and bells were rung 15 times, representing 1.5 billion Chinese from 34 provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions and special administrative regions in China and overseas Chinese.

Troupes in traditional costumes displayed sacrificial rites in music and dance performances, showing people's contemporary respect for Huangdi and the efforts to develop a sense of belonging to the country and enhance their sense of national identity.

The ceremony had more than 300 attendees including Taiwan compatriots, experts and people from all walks of life. The memorial ceremony for Huangdi in Jinyun dates back to the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420). The event was included in the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2011.

Jinyun should conduct deep research of the Huangdi culture, take the initiative to tell a story about Huangdi, carry forward the Huangdi spirit, and strive to make the Huangdi culture provide cultural support and spiritual impetus for promoting the development of the county's economy and society, said Jin Baoping, consultant of the China Pre-Qin History Union, during the 5th China Huangdi Culture Academic Seminar, which was held in Jinyun on Sunday.

With the pervasive influence of the Xiandu scenic area and the ever-growing popularity of Huangdi culture in Jinyun in recent years, its culture and tourism sector is thriving, enriching locals' lives and boosting the economy.

For example, its leading local products such as Jinyun shaobing — Jinyun bucket baked rolls — are growing rapidly. In 2021, the output value of Jinyun shaobing reached 2.7 billion yuan ($379 million).

"We should tell a good story about the Huangdi culture in southern China, and further use the sacrificial ceremony to inspire patriotic enthusiasm and invigorate the Chinese to unite," said Xie Ligen, vice-president of the Zhejiang Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences Circles.

Fang Xiaoying contributed to this story.

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