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Shedian hosts Guan Yu Culture Festival

Updated: Nov 3, 2017 chinadaily.com.cn Print
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The 2017 China International Guan Yu Culture Festival got unerway in Shedian town, Nanyang on Nov 1, attracting more than 100 travel agencies and over 10,000 tourists and local residents to pay tribute to Guan Yu.

 

A statue of Guan Yu in Shedian presides over the festivities in his name. [Photo/People.cn]

Guan Yu, one of the best known historical figures in China, was a general serving under the warlord Liu Bei during the Three Kingdoms period (220-280) and is respected as the epitome of loyalty and righteousness.

The relationship between Shedian and Guan Yu originated from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when merchants from Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces built the Shanxi-Shaanxi Guild Hall there in commemoration of Guan Yu. Since then, the guild hall has become a place for sacrificial offerings where locals pray to the general on the first and 15th of every lunar month.

The tradition was resumed in Shedian in 2014 after a 60-year-hiatus, and the International Guan Yu Culture Festival has been held three times since. This year's event invited Guan Yu's descendent to host the ritual ceremony, while the worshippers wore ancient costumes to recreate sacrificial scenes of the Qing Dynasty, bowing with hands folded.

A parade passed through the streets of Shedian with two people banging drums loudly, eight people carrying the Guan Gong statue, 32 people escorting them and 200 people holding up a long scroll inscribed with "worship Guan Yu and learn from his virtue of integrity and loyalty".

More than 100 travel agencies attended the culture & tourism promotion conference on the same day, while over 600 exhibitors from 25 cities across the country came to Sheqi and put an array of antiques and artworks including calligraphies, paintings, porcelains and jewelries on display.

With the culture of Guan Yu as a bridge, the events aim to raise the profile of Shedian and boost local tourism through a series of activities, said Jia Di, the director of Department of Publicity of Sheqi county.

2017 China International Guan Yu Culture Festival gets underway in Shedian town of Nanyang on Nov 1. [Photo/People.cn]

 

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