Posts Tagged ‘Zhengzhou’

China celebrates Qingming Festival

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

China has celebrated the Qingming Festival, when it’s traditional for people to pay tribute to their ancestors and the heroes who died serving their country.

In central China’s Henan Province holiday makers enjoyed some of these varied traditions at the 2012 Kaifeng Qingming Culture Festival. Kaifeng is closely linked to Qingming Festival, with the famous ancient painting “The Riverside Scene at the Qingming Festival” capturing life in the Northern Song capital of Bianjing, which is today’s Kaifeng.

In the Qingming River Garden, the bustling scene depicted on the scroll painting comes to life. There is also a model of the scene in the excellent Henan Museum in Zhengzhou which I visited on my trip to Beijing, Tianjin, and Zhengzhou in December 2010 – January 2011.

Story and pictures from my trip to Beijing, Tianjin and Zhengzhou now available

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

From the end of December 2010 we returned for my fifth trip to China, spending three amazing weeks visiting China’s capital Beijing as well as Tianjin, located south of Beijing, and Zhengzhou in central China. You can now read the story of my trip and see the pictures.

Movie – Shaolin

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Last night we went to the cinema to see the new movie “Shaolin”. Much more than just a Kung Fu film, the fast-paced, breathtaking Shaolin is an experience in the benevolence, wisdom and enlightenment of Chinese Buddhism. I visited the Shaolin Temple, which is located at Dengfeng near Zhengzhou in Henan Province, during my Shaolintrip to Henan, Anhui, and Zhejiang in 2009. Rather than risk damage to the real Shaolin Temple, which last year gained World Heritage listing, a replica film set was built in Zhejiang Province.

Shaolin begins with feuding warlords trying to expand their power by warring over neighboring lands. Fuelled by his success on the battlefield, young and arrogant warlord Hao Jie sneers at Shaolin’s masters when he beats one of them in a duel. But pride comes before a fall. When his own family is wiped out by a rival warlord, Hao is forced to take refuge with the monks. There he confronts the harm he has done, learning Shaolin martial arts and repenting. As the civil unrest spreads and the people suffer, Hao and the Shaolin masters are forced to take a stand against the evil warlords and foreign colonists who are exploiting the Chinese people to plunder ancient treasures (something that has sadly happened in real life, one of the worst examples being the French and English looting and destruction of Yuanmingyuan).

Find out more at Emperor Motion Pictures – Shaolin.

Another fantastic China trip sadly comes to an end

Monday, January 17th, 2011

It’s been three amazing weeks visiting Beijing, Tianjin and Zhengzhou, taking in incredible sites like the Imperial and Summer Palaces, Temple of Heaven and Henan Museum.  This time we flew to and from China with Air China, the national flag carrier, and their service was excellent. Already I miss the vibrant daily modern life, friendly Chinese people, rich ancient culture, and the amazing diversity of food – hopefully the next visit won’t be too long away! Look for the full story and pictures from this trip in My China Trips and the Galleries soon (and in the meantime check out the stories and pictures from my previous four trips).

Yonghegong Lama Temple and the Temple of Heaven

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

After exploring the fascinating treasures of the Henan Museum and enjoying the hospitality of Zhengzhou’s very friendly people I returned to Beijing by train on 9 January. Since then I have visited two more of Beijing’s significant attractions – Yonghegong Lama Temple and the Temple of Heaven.

Yonghegong Lama TempleYonghegong Lama Temple, the largest lamasery in Beijing, was built in 1694 as the residence of Prince Yong of the Qing Dynasty. After the prince came to the throne as Emperor Yongzheng he in 1725 changed his old residence into a temporary dwelling palace called “Yonghegong” meaning palace of harmony and peace. In 1744 his successor Emperor Qianlong changed the palace into a lama temple. In the temple halls there are many Buddhist statues, paintings and relics including a breathtaking 18-metre high Buddha carved from one piece of white sandalwood.

The Temple of Heaven, built from 1420, was where emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties went to worship heaven and offer sacrifices to pray for bumper harvests and favourable rain. A spectacular group of ancient temple buildings sits in 273 hectares of beautiful parkland, including the landmark Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and Circular Mound Altar.

For this part of the trip I’m staying in Dongzhimen, which is located near to the Beijing Worker’s Stadium and Gymnasium and Beijing’s embassy district. Like Chongwenmen where we stayed earlier in the trip, Dongzhimen was previously the location of an ancient city gate. It also has a subway station that accesses two subway lines as well as the Airport Express train service.