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International Travelers Flock to this Year’s Dujiangyan Water-Releasing Festival in China’s Sichuan Province

April 10, 2017 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

On April 2, 2017, the annual Water-Releasing Festival was held in Dujiangyan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in western China’s Sichuan province. The traditional event acts as a supplication for good harvests on the Sichuan plain and commemorates the Dujiangyan irrigation system’s originators, Li Bing and his son, who developed and implemented the vast water conservation and flood control project around 256 BC. This year, the organizers added elements to heighten interest among tourists, especially younger travelers from around the globe, who flocked to the event and witnessed the ceremony. The additions to the event served to promote Dujiangyan as an international travel destination.

Enthusiastic and inquisitive young travelers with an interest in Chinese culture came from more than a dozen countries, including the United States, Germany, Japan, India, Russia and Ukraine, to experience the Water-Releasing Festival, a tradition that dates back thousands of years. The event in its newest form combines elements from both East and West, acting as a bridge through space and time, merging both tradition and modernity. Visitors were treated to many passionately-performed and enchanting dance routines including the Samba, jazz and Flamenco as well as other international favorites.

“Cut the Macha, release the water!” The order given by the host of the ceremony to cut and pull the Macha, the wood tripods that support a temporary dam as a flood control mechanism, is the climactic moment of the water-releasing ceremony. A representative for the many tourists who had traveled from abroad to experience the event came up onto the stage to take part in the ceremony and was quite moved by having the opportunity to experience and be a part of the history and tradition of Dujiangyan.

As Lu Xun, a leading figure of modern Chinese literature and China’s most famous writer of the 20th century, had once said, “What is national is international”. The 2017 edition of the Dujiangyan Water-Releasing Festival demonstrated to the world once again the charm and appeal of Chinese traditional culture. The grand ceremony, with the area’s natural scenery and the country’s traditional culture and history as a backdrop, has played a special role in transforming Sichuan province into an international travel destination.

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