The ancient Huangling Village hosted a special folk customs carnival in recognition of the Chinese Cultural Heritage Day on June 11. The celebration featured a wide range local traditions and culinary delicacies typical of the ancient Huizhou County where Huangling is located.
Now known as Wuyuan County, the area has been famous for calligraphy and literature since the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). One of the highlights of the day’s events was a demonstration on the village’s iconic Tianjie Street of how to make inkstones, which were used in ancient China for the storage of ink. Huizhou’s inkstone is one of the four great inkstones of China, and was highly sought after by writers in later dynasties.
“Civilization is universal,” said Elliot Conner, a tourist from United States who stopped by to watch craftsman chiseling the inkstones. “Although I come from an entirely different cultural background, I can learn more and understand more of the Huangling and Chinese culture through these exhibitions of folk customs and cultural heritages. I think it’s a great opportunity for everyone to experience the history in person through interactive events just like this.”
Together with the inkstones, Suzhou embroidery, Jialu paper umbrellas and the three Huizhou carvings (wood carving decorations on Hui-style buildings) were among the intangible heritages presented to tourists during the folk customs carnival.
On the day, the crowd on Tianjie Street also enjoyed the live cooking of famous Wuyuan delicacies and tasted the fresh local flavors, including the Wuyuan steamed cake, a savory snack made with rice milk fermented with distiller’s yeast that’s then steamed in clay pot and seasoned with dried shrimp, bamboo shoots and green onion.
Huangling will also be presenting visitors the performance of a Huizhou style wedding ceremony in July. The wedding ceremony will allow visitors from around the world to learn about the traditional Southern Chinese wedding. The ancient village wedding features escorting the bride, traveling by bridal sedan chair — a traditionally decorated carriage carried by two or more porters — performing formal bows, a traditional wedding feast and more.
Wu Xiangyang, CEO of Wuyuan Rural Culture Development Co., Ltd., said that the culturally rich Huangling Village has much more to offer than flower seas in the spring and serene mountain scenery, and the many cultural events in the village can entertain visitors throughout the year.
“The folk customs and traditions are bringing back the original vitality and endless possibilities for the ancient Huangling Village,” Wu said. “By continuous exploration of cultural heritage, Huangling is presenting everyone a new perspective on China.”