History and culture of Zhejiang Province

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, September 11, 2012
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Zhejiang is blessed with rich cultural heritage. Hemudu Culture, which dates back seven thousand years ago, is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization. Hemudu was the world's origin of paddy rice cultivation. Liangzhu Culture of 4,200-5,300 years ago, situated near the Taihu Lake and the Qiantang River, was another major peak of proto-Chinese civilization. The inventions of  and jade carving were Liangzhu man's most important contributions to mankind. In remote antiquity the legendary King Yu braved wind and rain and tamed the flooding rivers. After his death, his remains were buried in Shaoxing. Since Qing Dynasty, the mausoleum and temple of King Yu have become a popular sanctuary for people to worship the legendary hero. In terms of Buddhism, Zhejiang also enjoys high reputation. During the fourth century, Dafo Temple in Xinchang, Asoka Temple and Tiantong Temple in Ningbo, Guoqing Temple in Tiantai, and Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou were very famous. Guoqing Temple later became the cradle of the Tendai Sect, and Tiangtong Temple the cradle of the Soto-shu Sect of Japanese Buddhism. Today, more than one millennium later, they remain outstanding representatives of Buddhism culture.

China is home to chinaware. Zhejiang is the origin of celadon (chinaware with a translucent, pale green glaze). During the 11th and 12th centuries, among five major porcelain-making kilns, two—the Longquan Kiln and Hangzhou Official Kiln—were in Zhejiang. It is these famous kilns that propelled the Chinese porcelain-making industry to its pinnacle, making porcelain both practical utensils and works of art, and a major hallmark of ancient Chinese civilization.

Silk, tea and paper-making, too, were so well developed that they endowed the land of Zhejiang with a rich cultural ambience and unique oriental aesthetic flavor. It is also a land of sparkling waters and graceful hills, where talents gather. Great men of past times have filled Zhejiang's history with their deeds, and its land with their renown. The province has always been in the front ranks in education, science and technology, and culture and art. It has been a major influence in Chinese literature, theatre, painting, calligraphy, and arts and crafts. There are five famous historical and cultural cities at national level in Zhejiang, which are Hangzhou, Ningbo, Shaoxing, Quzhou and Linhai. Hangzhou, the capital city, is one of the seven ancient capital cities in China, and also a famous tourist city. Thanks to her long history, splendid culture, uniquely favorable natural environment, Zhejiang is worthy of compliments such as "a region of fish and rice, the home of silk, a paradise for tourists and a land of rich cultural heritage", which have been lavished upon her since ancient times.

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