Shijingshan’s True Autumn Colours
Translated by Wang Huihui Edited by Mark Zuiderveld
During this year’s National Day holiday, Shijingshan District made full use of its scenery, historic sites and entertainment venues to enhance local tourism.
This year’s Mid-autumn Festival (October 4) holiday and the National Day (October 1) holiday overlapped, ushering in an eight- day holiday (October 1– 8), the longest for 2017. During the golden week of National Day with clear skies and idyllic climate, Shijingshan District made full use of its scenery, historical sites and entertainment venues to provide the public with recreation while enhancing its regional tourism.
During the golden week this year, the 4th Western Hills Badachu Cultural Festival was held at Badachu Park. It took advantage of the Western Hills Cultural Belt, strove to promote cultures of the Chinese nation and Western Hills, aimed to enhance Badachu Park’s brand image, and met cultural needs of the masses, providing an authentic feast of national culture for both Beijingers and visitors of the capital.
Intangible cultural heritage is the essence of national culture, which can be found throughout Chinese civilisation and history, like shiny pearls scattered all over the country. China’s intangible cultural heritage has become a symbol of national spirit and culture, even a source of cultural confidence. During the 4th Western Hills Badachu Cultural Festival, 17 intangible cultural heritage projects of various ethnic groups were displayed at Badachu Park, attracting visitors to get a
closer cultural look at a traditional China and the Western Hills.
Ten practitioners of intangible cultural heritage gave live performances at the Liuxi Shanfang Square in Badachu Park. Inheritors of the 17 intangible cultural heritage projects also gave wonderful live performances, helping visitors feel the charm of national music, dance, costume and handcraft. Interaction between masters and visitors not gave a full revealing embodiment of intangible cultural heritage, but also aroused interest in protecting intangible cultural heritage.
The festival had two sections— performance and bazaar. According to the intangible cultural heritage items, several performances, displays and experience activities showcased the charm of national music, dance, costume and handcraft. To actively carry out the national Belt and Road cultural development action plan, diplomatic envoys of countries along the Belt and Road attended the events, enhancing the international influence of traditional Chinese culture represented by intangible cultural heritage. The national cultural and creative Lezai Bazaar displayed distinct cultural tourism destinations and cultural and creative products with Chinese characteristics, demonstrating a harmonious integration of Buddhist culture alongside Chinese national culture.
To celebrate the 68th birthday of the People’s Republic of China, a large fabric was arranged on Hufeng Hill with Chinese characters Zu Guo Hao (great motherland) on it, showing great blessings. As a highlight of the festival, the fabric- filled landscape showcased China’s glory silently on the hill. On National Day, “Great Motherland” themed performances were staged. Famous performers gave two folk art performances each day during the festival, including comic crosstalk and talk show.
Artists from the China Calligraphers Association and the China Artists Association gathered in Badachu Park during the festival to do calligraphy and paint, carrying out artistic exchanges. Lectures on ancient Chinese civilisation were open to the public at Lingguang Temple, attracting niche crowds. The scripture transcription activity held at Dabei Temple made the site a vibrant centre of culture. The virtue and filial piety themed exhibition, award-winning mountain climbing and many other activities regarding care were held at Zhengguo Temple and appreciated by visitors. The “Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water” folk music concert was held in scenic Jingyin Valley, surrounded by its lush landscape of mountains and rivers. Cable cars for sightseeing were free to senior citizens over 65 years of age.
Shijingshan Amusement Park
To better enrich Beijing’s cultural life, Shijingshan Amusement Park held a themed festival for visitors during the holiday with five distinct areas—the First China International Cuisine Development Conference, the 2017 Beijing International Cuisine Festival (the 13th International Western Food Culture Festival), Enjoying the Classic Carnival, “Pursuing Dreams along the Belt and Road” Float, and the 19th Beijing International Tourism Festival Parallel Tour.
October’s pleasant climate so far has become suitable for travel. During the National Day holiday, many attractions of Shijingshan Amusement Park were open to the public, including roller coaster, Tidal Wave, merry- go-round, drifting boat, 7D experience zone, bumper car, Swinging Pendulum and Pirate Ship. Fifty classic attractions drew throngs of visitors.
As a signature attraction of Shijingshan Amusement Park, the float parade has always been favoured by visitors. Floats in this year’s autumn parade were themed on music, Cinderella, a bubble car, clown, Aries and five other floats adopting a regional style. In the meantime, professional performers from countries along the Belt and Road gave exotic performances. Visitors got to experience popular culture by getting involved in those activities, enwrapped in a crisp and festive autumn.
The 1st China International Cuisine Development Conference was held at Shijingshan Amusement Park, coorganised by Chinese Cuisine Association, Chinese Cuisine Association International Food Commission, Beijing Western Food Association and Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park. The event presented European cuisine, Latin American cuisine, Southeast Asian cuisine, Japanese cuisine, Korean cuisine, coffee, baking, pizza and teppanyaki. At the same time, cuisinerelated events were held, including Boutique Hotel Supplies Exhibition, Fine Food Material Exhibition, the 2nd China Fancy Teppanyaki Competition, the 1st International Japanese Cuisine Masters Competition, China International Cuisine and Big Data Development Report, China International Cuisine Development Forum, International Cuisine Top 100 Selection in Ten Areas, China International Cuisine Outstanding Entrepreneur Selection, and China International Cuisine Young Elite Selection.
Organised by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce, Beijing Western Food Association and Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park, the 2017 Beijing International Cuisine Festival (the 13th International Western Food Culture Festival) cooperated with many well-known catering enterprises to create a cuisine carnival, with the theme of “The World Comes to China, and Beijing Presents the World.” Starry night doughnuts, Thai curry fish, potted ice cream, chocolate fountain, San Daniele ham, Spanish paella, water drop cake, brewed beer and more than 20 kinds of food were too much to take in.
The 19th Beijing International Tourism Festival Parallel Tour was also held in Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park, with the theme of “The Belt and Road Connects the World, and Tour in Beijing Happily.” It was sponsored by China National Tourism Administration, Beijing Municipal Government and Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development. Germany, the UK, Egypt, Poland, Chile, Colombia and other countries showcased their cultures and art, strengthening people-to-people exchanges, providing activities and performances for audiences.
Beijing International Sculpture Park
During the National Day holiday, the 5th Intangible Cultural Carnival was
held at Beijing International Sculpture Park. The carnival has now become an influential and high- end cultural activity in Shijingshan District since the first one in 2013. The Intangible Cultural Carnival aims to build a platform to promote integration between intangible culture and related industries. It plays an active role in shifting Beijing’s functions unrelated to its role as national capital and building a highend cultural community in Shijingshan District. In recent years, the Intangible Cultural Carnival has always committed to creating an array of interactive activities with opportunities for the industry, while continuing to make full use of intangible cultural heritage projects, enrich material carriers, and form a model that serves innovation and development of Shijingshan’s cultural industry.
The 5th Intangible Cultural Carnival included a painting and calligraphy exhibition to celebrate the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress, professional lectures, and intangible cultural heritage experience activities. Different from previous carnivals, the 5th Intangible Cultural Carnival adopted augmented reality (AR) technology to integrate both traditional and modern aspects, attracting many young visitors.
The 5th Intangible Cultural Carnival gave Beijingers and visitors some highlights. The calligraphy and painting exhibition displayed the works of 101 famous calligraphers and painters, and even invited some calligraphers to do calligraphy on site so that visitors could feel the rich culture of calligraphy and painting, and jointly celebrate the upcoming 19th CPC National Congress then. Some experience activities applied AR technology in intangible cultural heritage display, integrating traditional culture and advanced technology. The organiser also developed an app for the carnival and launched parent- child activities, allowing those curious to know more and experience AR technology. Xiyuan Shuixie Beijing Architecture Art and Culture Creativity Centre launched a girder themed ancient architecture exhibition at the carnival, detailing the contributions many modern architects.
This year’s Intangible Cultural Carnival also had an exhibition area for tea culture, displaying a variety of tea leaves, such as Dahongpao, Pu’er, white tea and jasmine tea, as well as giving lectures on tea art. Chen Dehua, inheritor of Wuyiyanan (as known as Dahongpao) tea making and father of modern Dahongpao tea, and Li Xingchang, inheritor of Pu’er, were invited to take part in the exhibition of tea culture to carry out in- depth conversations on tea art with the public. The Intangible Cultural Carnival also performed Peking Opera, Pingju (a local opera of northern and northeastern China), Henan Opera and Hebei Bangzi (also known as Hebei Clapper Opera). Chinese drama encompasses oral literature and singing. To give the public a better understanding of intangible cultural heritage, participants were invited to give lectures and share traditional culture with the public from their own perspectives through on-site lectures and live Internet broadcast. Learning traditional Chinese culture while perusing folk art, visitors spoke highly of the carnival.
The 5th Intangible Cultural Carnival also included chisel carving, mask painting, leather making, batik production, weaving, plant aromatherapy, embroidery and illustration. It also invited artisans and performers to give detailed lessons in how to make these products. In the meantime, the online broadcast platforms allowed those who didn’t get to Beijing International Sculpture Park to watch the carnival. The 5th Intangible Cultural Carnival invited dozens of students from the History College of Capital Normal University to serve as volunteers. Carnival volunteers interviewed inheritors of intangible cultural heritage, prepared for live shows, sorted out materials, promoted intangible cultural heritage, and providedprofessional explanations and guidance for visitors.
The 5th Intangible Cultural Carnival, with its green landscape upgrading project of Beijing International Sculpture Park completed, made the middle part of the eastern garden a “green lung” of the city, connecting the landscapes of eastern and western gardens, and becoming a “green profit” for Beijingers and tourists.
A song and dance performance at the 4th Western Hills Badachu Cultural Festival in Badachu Park
Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park
Kids paint ceramics at the 5th Intangible Cultural Carnival in Beijing International Sculpture Park