Festivals carry forward ancient culture of Xiamen

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The 11th Xiamen (Tong'an) Su Song International Cultural Festival & the 7th Xiamen (Tong'an) Zhu Xi International Cultural Festival kicked off in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province, on Dec. 10. Under the theme of "Maintaining Historical Confidence and Pursuing Innovation", the event aimed to commemorate the two influential figures -- Su Song and Zhu Xi -- and their legacies which are still playing a prominent role in China today. Over 200 experts, scholars, and guests participated in the event both online and offline.

At the opening ceremony, the co-hosts inaugurated the Tong'an Cultural Treasury, the Fujian-Taiwan Folk Culture Exhibition Hall, and the Research Center for Family Traditions and Family Trees across the Taiwan Strait, and unveiled the plaque for the Tong'an Su Song Herb Garden Base. A book about ancient Chinese poems written in the Southern Min language was also launched at the ceremony.

The ancestral home of both Su Song and Zhu Xi is Tong'an. They both have exerted a great influence on Chinese science and culture. Su, a renowned polymath of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), achieved remarkable achievements in various fields, such as astronomy, machinery, medicine, diplomacy, and literature. The Water-Powered Astronomical Clock Tower built by Su was believed to be the oldest astronomical clock in the world. Zhu Xi was a famous Neo-Confucianist and representative of the School of Min during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). Zhu started his official career in Tong'an, helping nurture talents for local development. Thanks to Zhu, Tong'an was known as a culturally advanced coastal area in ancient China.

In recent years, Tong'an District in Xiamen has been tapping into the historical and cultural legacies left by Su and Zhu in a bid to carry forward their legacies from generation to generation. The two cultural festivals are a result of its efforts. This year, the festival combo integrates the historical and cultural resources unique to Tong'an from ancient to modern times.

With a mix of cultures in ancient Tong'an and contemporary Xiamen, Tong'an will take solid actions to build a new hub of cultural exchange, open up a new cultural chapter for the thousand-year-old city, and innovatively promote the application, development, and spread of its fine traditional culture, said Lin Shenghai, a member of the Standing Committee of the Tong'an District Party Committee and head of the district's Publicity Department.

Under the guidance of the Publicity Department of the Xiamen Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China and the Xiamen Federation of Social Sciences, the festivals were co-hosted by the Publicity Department of the Tong'an District Party Committee and the Tong'an District Federation of Social Sciences. Co-organizers of the event included the Chinese Zhuzi Academy, the education, culture and tourism authorities in Tong'an District, the Tong'an Association for Science and Technology, the Tong'an Minnan Culture Research Association, the Chinese Classics Institute of Xiamen University, the Changchun Su Song Research Society, and the Tong'an Lushantang Su Song Research Society.

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