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Ceremony pays tribute to legendary first ancestor

By SHAN JUAN in Xi'an | China Daily | Updated: 2021-04-05 10:36

Children and young adults sing at the ceremony paying tribute to Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor, the legendary ancestor of the Chinese nation, on Sunday. [Photo by Mu Jialiang/For China Daily]

A grand ceremony paying tribute to Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor, the legendary ancestor of the Chinese nation, was held at the Mausoleum of the Yellow Emperor in Huangling county, Shaanxi province, on Sunday, which was also Tomb Sweeping Day.

Jointly held by the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, its Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, the Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese and Shaanxi's provincial government, the annual event attracted many visitors to Huangling, where Huangdi is believed to have been buried.

The ceremony featured nine sequences related to Huangdi and ancient Chinese culture, including folk art performances and tree-planting activities.

Organizers said this year's theme was "Accumulating the power of the Chinese nation, and embarking on a new journey of national revitalization".

Historic achievements were highlighted in the funeral oration delivered by Zhao Yide, Shaanxi's governor, including the completion of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) and progress toward building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Johnny Kiu, from Hong Kong, said he was amazed by the grand ceremony. He has been working as general manager of the Grand Hyatt Xi'an for a year and was attending the ceremony for the first time.

"I'd like to share my experience and emotion here with friends back in Hong Kong," he said. "We are all Chinese, bound by the same origin, tradition, culture and values."

Robert Pan, from Taiwan, echoed those sentiments. He traveled to Huangling for the ceremony from Wuxi, Jiangsu province, where he works.

He said he knew the legend of Huangdi well and would like to invite more compatriots in Taiwan to visit the Chinese mainland.

"Worshipping the same ancestor, we Chinese should go hand in hand," he said.

Also known as Xuanyuan Shi, Huangdi is widely regarded as the primogenitor of the Chinese nation, together with Emperor Yan. All Chinese thereafter have proclaimed themselves yanhuang zisun-the offspring of the Yellow Emperor and Emperor Yan.

After conquering Emperor Yan and Chiyou, Huangdi became the tribal chief. During his reign, roughly 4,600 years ago, breakthroughs like crop cultivation, silkworm rearing, Chinese characters and medicine were invented, helping to foster the development of Chinese civilization.

Fang Guanghua, Shaanxi's vice-governor, said that digging into traditional cultures related to the Yellow Emperor also carried with it the values of the present day, helping the nation boost its cultural confidence and carrying forward the national spirit.

Yao Yuxin contributed to this story.

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