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29/04/2014

Cultural Significance of the Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China China vacation deals is one of the greatest construction wonders of the world, and ranks among the “Seven Wonders of the World”. The Great Wall of today starts from Shanhaiguan Pass in the east and ends at Jiayuguan Pass in the west. It is about 6,700 km long. So in Chinese we call it “Wan Li Chang Cheng”, which means Ten-Thousand-Li-Long Wall (li is a Chinese unit for measurement; one li is equal to half a kilometer).

The Great Wall was first built during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and continued into the Warring States Period (475-221 BC). After the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) unified China, the Great Wall was linked up and expanded, which laid the foundation for what we call today the Ten-Thousand-Li-Long Wall. In the Han (206 BC-220 AD) and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties, the Great Wall was further constructed. Though thousands of years have passed, one dynasty replaced by another, you can still feel its grandeur and could not help marveling at how this huge project became possible when you climb up the Wall.

The earliest parts of the Great Wall were built amid incessant wars. It served the purpose of military defense in the age of cold steel, especially in preventing northern people on horseback from attacking people in the south who were mostly engaged in farming. The work involved in building the Great Wall was tremendous and the hardships are beyond imagination. People paid an enormous price for the construction of the Great Wall. Numerous people had to leave their homes and families to go north, where they toiled for years. Over a time span of over 2,000 years, many people lost their lives on the worksites.

Many legends and tales have left in China about the construction of the Great Wall top 10 China tours. Among them, the story of Lady Meng Jiang (Meng Jiangnü), called “Meng Jiangnü’s Bitter Weeping”, is the most moving and known to every household in China.

Lady Meng Jiang lived during the reign of the First Emperor of Qin Dynasty. In order to build the Great Wall, Emperor Qin Shihuang ordered 300 thousand people to work. In other words, one out of every 20 people took part in the project then. Lady Meng Jiang’s husband was recruited to build the Great Wall just three days after they got married. Hearing nothing from her husband after his departure, Lady Meng Jiang missed him very much. She sewed some warm clothes for him and decided to set off to look for him. She traveled many miles, going through innumerable hardships. When she eventually reached the foot of the Great Wall at the present Shanhaiguan Pass, a fellow countryman told her that her husband had died and was buried under the Wall. Lady Meng Jiang was so sad and she cried for three days and nights until, legend has it, a 400 kilometer-long (248-mile-long) section of the Great Wall collapsed, revealing the dead bodies of her husband and many others. The heartbroken Lady Meng Jiang finally committed suicide by jumping into the sea.

This story tells of the hard work of Chinese commoners. Today, you can find a temple built at Shanhaiguan Pass near the sea in memory of this loyal lady.

The Great Wall today has high China tourism value and historical and cultural significance. Over the centuries, the Great Wall has become a symbol of consolidation and strength for the Chinese people. It symbolizes that great achievement can be made with a common will and concerted effort. For example, the national anthem, composed during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945), called on the people to “build our new Great Wall with our flesh and blood”. A Chinese idiom vividly expresses the Great Wall as the achievement of many – “Efforts joined by many can build the Great Wall”.

Standing on the Great Wall, only a good imagination is required for you to form a picture of the past, of the battlefields, the chariots, the horses, the heavily armored soldiers and the emperors they fought and died for…

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08:32 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

28/04/2014

Tayaoniang - A Song-and-Dance Drama

Otherwise known as Tanrongniang, Tayaoniang is a folk song-and-dance drama originated in the Northern and Southern Dynasties and popular in the Tang Dynasty China vacation deals.

The drama is drafted from a story in the Northern Qi Dynasty. In the story, there lived a man surnamed Su in the Northern Qi Dynasty. He was an alcoholic and would cruelly beat his wife whenever he got drunk. Being beaten, his wife would pour out her grievances in tears to neighbors. Later, a short satirical song-and-dance drama based on the story was created. In the drama, a man dressed like a woman sang songs while swaying his body and the audiences would join in the chorus, lamenting the woman's misfortune. Afterwards, the actor playing her husband came on the stage and acted out the beating scene. This part of performance was rather amusing and would make the audiences laugh. The drama later had some changes. The role of the wife was played by a woman and the focus of the drama was on singing and dancing. At the same time, the drama was renamed Tanrongniang top China tours.

The poem on Tanrongniang by Chang Feiyue of the Tang Dynasty described the staging of the drama. In the poem, there were movements of raising hands and tidying up, somersaulting and dancing, expressive narration and the audiences' chorus in unison. That was a very touching scene, attracting throngs of people. The drama Tayaoniang popular China tour package was also featured in banquet performances in the imperial court. It is thus clear that it was a song-and-dance drama appealing to all.

Featuring two roles of different temperaments, the drama involves conflicts, plots, songs and dances, serving as a precursor to the operatic art of later ages.

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09:05 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

25/04/2014

Travel Guide - Wangfujing Cathedral

Perhaps when you’re in China trip in Europe you would visit the world famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome or the countless sacred sites in Spain, but did you ever imagine yourself visiting a notorious cathedral in China? If you assumed the answer was no, then be prepared for a surprised. The Wangfujing Cathedral, also known as the St. Joseph’s Cathedral is a must-see when you travel to Beijing.

This beautiful piece of old architecture stands tall in Downtown Beijing, near Wangfujing. The church is known by locals as ‘Dongtang’ which means ‘East Cathedral.’ It was first build in 1653 and was officially opened by the Italian Jesuit Father Lodovico Buglio. Over the centuries, several Earthquakes and Wars gradually destroyed the Cathedral. It was then rebuilt in 1904 into a more Romanesque architectural style. The 20th century saw the Cathedral developing into an iconic symbol of Christianity in China. Today, there is a large concrete plaza outside the building, which has become a popular skateboarding location in Beijing last minute China travel deals.

When it was built, it became the 2nd Catholic Church in Beijing. The mission housed well-recognized members of the Catholic community such as Johann Adam Scholl von Bell. Other missionaries such as Ferdinand Verbiest and Giuseppe Castiglione served in this glorious place of worship for years. You can also see some traditional Catholic art in the Church. Paintings by Giuseppe Castiglione are spread out around the building. After the Cultural Revolution, it was used as a primary school. It progressively became a unique cultural site in the capital.

Religion, like any other country in Asia, is an interesting concept in China. Shenism-Taoism and Buddhism remain the most popular religions in China, representing 30% and 11% of the population respectively. Other religions include Islam (1% of the population) and Christianity (4%). It is estimated that roughly half of the population are either agnostic or atheist. Naturally, theses statistics vary. Nonetheless, Christians are definitely a minority and thus, the Wangfujing Cathedral best tours of China serves its purpose as a site just as much as a place of worship for local Catholics.

There are three other famous churches in Beijing alone, all known after the region they are situated in. As noted earlier, Wangfujing Cathedral is known as ‘Dontang’, which means ‘East Cathedral.’ Locals know Xizhimen Church as ‘Xintang’, which means ‘West Church.’ The third main Cathedral in Beijing is the Xishiku Cathedral, known as ‘Beitang,’ the North Cathedral. The South Cathedral (Nantang) is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and is the oldest Catholic Cathedral in Beijing, established in 1603; it was later developed into a Baroque styled building.

tags: travel China guide

08:27 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)