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Folk Customs of the Central Plain

Shijiazhuang Folklore Village in Angiu

Situated 20 kilometers southwest to the county seat of Anqiu, the village is full of Shandong local characteristics. farmers in Shandong are simple, straightfoward, warm and hospitable. Tourists can experience real rural life and learn the folk customes in the village by staying and eating in the houses of the farmers and learning how to make dumplings, papercuts and embroidered purses. They can also visit the village school, kindergarten and clinic, and have a get-together with the farmers.

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Yangjiabu New Year's Paintings Museum

The museum is located in Weifang. New Year's paintings in Yangjiabu, originally created at the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), are all handmade in traditional ways. Yangjiabu new year's paintings, Yangliuqing new year's paintings in Tianjin and Taohuawu new year's paintings in Suzhou are the three most well-known new year's paintings in China. Yangjiabu new year's painings have closely woven structure, exaggerated designs, bright colors and very decorative. They can be divided into gate paintings, door paintings . lunar calendar paintings and hanging calendar paintings.

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Kite Factory

Originated from Yangjiabu new year's paintings, Yangjiabu kites have fine materials, beautiful shapes, neat designs and bright colors, showing an exquisite workmanship. Yangjiabu Kite factory is the largest kite factory in China with an annual output of a million kites. Tourists can learn about the 12 processes in making kites and see kites of various designs and colors in the factory. It they are interested, they can make kites with their own hands.

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Weifang Kite Museum

Located on the east bank of the Bailang River in Weifang, the city of kites, the 13,000-sq-km museum is the largest of its kind in the world, containing 10 exhibition halls of different sizes and a 1,600-sq-m hall for flying kites. In the museum there are kites from different countries . It is the largest museum of kites in the world.

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Yangliuqing New Year's Painting Society

Yangliuqing new year's paintings, one of the famous Chinese folk new year's paintings, was first created in Yangliuqing Town, in the westem suburbs of Tianjin at the beginning of the 17th century. Yangliuqing new year's paintings, made with combining woodcutting and color applying, have both the characteristics of woodcuts and folk paintings. Yangliuqing new year's paintings adopt many styles including the realistic and symbolic; their themes include everyday life of the rural people. folk customes. current events and historical events. Yangliuqing new Year's paintings are loved by Chinese and foreign tourists.

Yangliuqing New Year's Painting Society in the suburbs of Tianjin specializes in researching on and developing new year's paintings, The society has kept many referential materials and materials used for creating new year's paintings. Members of the society have created many good works which has preserved the traditional characteristics and at the same time suits the modem taste. Tourists will see a lot of good works and watch the process of printing new year's paintings.

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Ancient Cultural Street

Located in Nankai District in Tianjin. the 580-m long 7-m wide street is full of local characteristics. antique and has no lack of cultural elements. The decorated archways at the two ends of the street and the red building in front of the palace are in Qing Dynasty architectural style. The other houses, totalling 100 in number, are also in style of Qing Dynasty folk houses. in the shops there are cultural relics, curiosities, ancientbooks, 'the four treasures of the study' (writing brushes, ink sticks , ink slabs and paper) and handicrafts . There are special shops for Yangliuqing new year's paintings, color sculptures of Clay Figure Zhang, Wei's kites and liu's brick carving . In the Heavenly Queen's Palace, there is the Tianjin Museum. In front of the palace there are often urama shows or folk performances.

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Shi Family Mansion Museum

Located in Yangliuqing Town in Tianjin, the mansion is the largest and best preserved residence in China. Called 'the first mansion in west Tianjin', it is grand, luxurious and elegant in style, with exquiisite stone, brick and wood cavings, The Yangliuqing Museum in the mansion is the galaxy of the essence of folk art,with exhibitions of outline history of Yangliuqing new years paintings. of Tianjin brick carvings, of folkiore of Tianjin and of the original outlooks of the Shi Family Mansion. The museum has attracted many people from home and abroad with its rich and superb collections.

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Zhengzhou Gongyi Folklore Cultural Village in Zhengzhou

Located in Zhengnan Road in the suburbs of Gongyi, the 410,000-sq-mvillages is a modrn tourist spot including the Cave Hotel and Folkiore Museum which were originally local residences. In the cave hotels there are old fashioned beds , square tables, amchairs and tea tables.On the bamboo fence at the front gate goures, grapes and muskmelons are hanging. Above the entrances of the caves there are Chinese honey locusts and wild jujubes, adding a primitive simplicity and strong rual flavor to the atin the hotel. In the museum there are sculptures and frescoes and objects of farming, rural life, recreation, religious activities and customes in the village there are also the Guandi Temple, a recreational center, and a, playpround for lion dance, dragon dance and walking on stilts.

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Kaifeng Royal Street of the Song Dynasty Capital

As the capital of the Northern Song Dynasty. Kaifeng was once a very flourishing and bustling city. The famous painting Riverside Scene on Qingming Festival is a true picture of Kaifeng at that time. in order to enable tourists to learn about folk customes of Northern Song Dynasty, the 400-m iong, 30-m wide Song Capital Royal Street, with all the vukldings on the two sides in Song Dynsty architectural style, is built up in the northern section of Zhongshan Road in Kaifeng. On the antique street, there are snacks shops, ancient pharmaceutical shops, curiocity shops, chinaware shops, shops of Kaifeng silk and Kaifeng emboidery works and new Year's painting societies. In the northerm part of the street there is a large building, the Fan Building, which was the best of the 72 restaurants in the capial during the Northern Song Dynasty. In Fan Building, imperial cusine, snacks in the Northern Song Dynasty and other Song Dynasty foods are available.

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Drum Tower Night Market

Night markets, started in the Northern Song Dynasty, have become a view in Kaifeng. When night falls. markets are scattered eveywhere in the cith. The one near the Drum Tower, the largest, is well-known for its 60 odd kinds of local snacks. Every night after dinner, people go to night markets with family members or with friends. Night markets last till very late at night.

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Cave Dwellings in Western Henan Province

People in villages on the Loess plateau in Luoyang and Sanmenxia in Henan Province have been living in caves since ancient times. Cave dwellings around a courtyard are a very interesting scene. Having selected a good place, the local people would dig a 100-sq-m qit, dig some caves at the four sides, a tunnel leading to the ground at one side and a well in the center of the pit and build up low walls at the four sides. The courtyard cave dwelling is warm in winter, cool in summer and rain and wind proof. The pits of different families are close to each other. When you are at the boundary line of the village, You will be surprised to hear cocks crow and dogs bark because you don't see any houses and people.

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Luoyang Folklore Museum

Located on the west bank of Nanya River on the Dongguan Xin Street in Luoyang, the museum was built up in 1744, the ninth year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty. It includes the Cunwu Tower, the Great Hall,the back hall, two accessory halls in the east and west and the Bell and Drum Tower, in which exhibitions on folk belier, weddings, birthday celebrations, and folk arts are shown with objects. During the occasion of flower fair every year, a temple fair is held to exhibit Luoyang's folk culture. In the west chamber, you will view scenes of family reunion, birthday celebration for children and other customes in ancient times, and local operas.

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Siheyuan

Siheyuan is a compound with houses around a courtyard, a traditional residence of Beijing people, was first built up in the twelfth century when the capital of Yuan Dynasty was built there . At present siheyuan is best preserved in lanes near Luoguxiang, west to the South Jiaodaokou Street, Dongcheng District.

More and more tourists visit siheyuan in order to learn about life of ordinary people in Beijing by talking with them. If they like, tourists can also learn making dumplings and other kinds of wheaten food in siheyuan.

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Physical Exercises in Parks

Beijing people like to have physical exercises in the morning in parks or street-center gardens, doing Qigong exercise, practicing martial arts or running . They either do exercises alone or in a group. If you go and talk to them. they may teach you Qigong or Chinese martial arts as Beijing people are warm and hospitable.

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Liyuan Theater

Located in Qianmen Hotel in south of Beijing , Liyuan Theater is the only place for overseas tourists to enjoy Peking Opera, a gem in the treasury of Chinese national culture loved by people all over the world by its elegant and sonorous singing , vivid performance and exellent acrobatic fighting.

Inside the theater, Peking Opera masks, costumes and stage properties are hanging on the walls. Tables and chairs are in Ming Dynasty style. Tourists can watch Peking Opera while having Chinese tea and different kinds of Chinese snacks.

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Lao She Tea House

Lao She Tea House is a typical Beijing tea house in the center of the city. The yellow sign board in front of the gate is very conspicuous. The interior of the tea house is simple and elegantly decorated, Every evening there are performances of Peking Opera, dagu (versified story sung to the accompaniment of a small drum and other instruments),shuanghuang (a two-man act, with one speaking or singing while hiding behind the other who does the acting), vocal mimicry and magic show by famous artists. The audiences can also give performances if they like. They can also have typical Beijing snacks here.

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Tiangiaole Tea House

Tianqiao Area, founded in the Yuan Dynasty, is a recreational place for ordinary Beijing people. Tianqiao is an ideal place for learning about foikiore and customes in Beijing as folk culture is well preserved here. The 900-sq-m tea house is sinple and elegant in architectural style, with antique square tables and boxes. The typical Beijing snacks and folk performances will leave the audiences with nice memories. Eveyday three grand performances on Beijing folklore, including operas, martial arts and other folk performances are given in the morning,afternoon and evening.

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Temple Fair in Longtan Park

Temple Fair is a traditional activity that the Chinese hold during the Spring Festial. Every year a grand temple fair is held in Longtan Park in Beijing from the 30th of the 12th lunar month to the 6th of the 1st lunar month. During the fair there are perfomances of Peking Opera, pingju (a local opera of north and northeast China), acrobatics and various types of folk performances. There are also programs of cockfighting, kicking shuttlecocks, martial arts and qigong. Over a hundred kinds of local snacks and royal court foods are available.

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Acrobatic World

Wuqiao County in Hebei Province, is called 'a county of acrobatics' There are acrobats in all its 20 townships, ranging from small kids to very old people. In some of the townships there are acrobats in every family. In the last 40 years more than 1,000 acrobats from Wuqiao County joined more than 50 acrobatic troupes in China . China Wuqiao international Acrobatic Fostival has been held in Wuqiao County for many times, during which acrobats from different countries performed

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Chengde Eight Outer Temples

During the Qing Dynasty, 11 temples were built up in the mountains to the east and north of the outer garden of the Summer Mansions at different times, among themeight were under the administration of the royal court in Beijing. As the temples were outside the Summer Mansions, they are called 'Eight Outer Temple'. Now only seven temples remain. The the group of temples includes styles of all the religious architectural works of different nationalities in ancient China . Puren Templt, the earliest among the group, is in the style of Han temples. Puning Temple, also called Grand Buddha Temple. is is a well preserved magnificent building with the Han and Tibetan architectural styles combined.

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Manzhu Customs

Manchu is a very ancidnt nationality that had a very important position in Chinese history. Manchu people are mainly engaged in agriculture. Most of the Manchu people in large cities are factory workers or intellectuals. Manchu people live in tall and spacy houses, with different familles live separately in different houses. There are heatable brick beds in the east, west and north of the house. Qipao (a close-fitting woman's dress with high neck and slit skirt) and sleeveless jackets are Manchu's national dresses. Manchu women are very particular about their looks. They spend a lot of time doing their hair and put a lot of hair ornaments. A flat and square hair ornament is the most popular one. Tourists to Manchu homes will be warmly welcomed.

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Taiyuan Qiao Family Mansion

From the Qiao Family Mansion in Qiaobao Village near Taiyuan, Capital of Shanxi Province, one can get a complete picture of folk customs in the middle part of Shanxi Province at the turn of the Ming and aing dynasties. Built up during the reign of Emperor Renzong (1796-1821) and that of Emperor Xuanzong (1821-51) in Qing Dynasty (1616-1911) the Mansion includes six large courtyards, 20 small courtyards and 313 rooms, occupying an area of 8,700 square meters. The mansion is grand in style and has a very reasonable layout. Articles and pictures on the calendar, sacrificial rites, funerals. weddings and daily lifd at the turn of the Ming and Qing bynasties, with objicts, are exhibited in the Mansion. Furnitures, costumes, pottery, handicrafts, callgraphy and paintings are also exhibited.

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  Information provided by China National Tourism Administration.

 

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