Nation to celebrate its rich culture, heritage

Countrywide carnival to give the public more awareness of China’s historical achievements.

As the birthplace of porcelain, paper-cutting, shadow play, embroidery and countless other innovations, China is to celebrate its 14th Cultural and Natural Heritage Day, which falls on June 8. A nationwide carnival will be held for the public to experience and learn about the country’s rich culture and heritage.

The year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and also the 15th anniversary of China ratifying UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Cultural and Natural Heritage Day, which falls on the second Saturday of June each year, aims to promote better awareness of cultural heritage protection among the public.

Activities include exhibitions of traditional handmade products, singing and dancing performances, quizzes and game shows, forums, contests and training courses.

Guangzhou, capital of South China’s Guangdong province, will be one of the main venues for this year’s celebration, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. A total of 40 intangible cultural heritage items will be on display, including classic Cantonese opera and the slow and mesmerizing music of Nanyin, one of the country’s oldest music styles.

Multiple courses will also be held teaching people how to make such things as palace lanterns, perform wing chun kung fu, play the Chinese zither, and take part in dragon boat racing and Canton embroidery.

With the heritage events taking place at the same time as the three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday, the local government will also provide 14 tourism routes for travelers to learn about local traditional culture as well as modern life in Guangzhou.

A total of 15 provinces will hold events aimed at protecting revolution-themed cultural heritage sites. The city of Yan’an in Northwest China’s Shaanxi province will be the main venue for these events, the ministry said.

The city was the hub for the Communist revolutionary movement in China from the mid-1930s to 1940s. Stories of the revolutionary sites will be told, such as those of Luochuan county, where top officials lived in caves and strategized during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45).

The old site of the Lu Xun Fine Art Academy in Yan’an, a major art school during the Chinese Communist revolution, and home to Mao Dun, Xian Xinghai and many artists and novelists, will welcome visitors after a five-year renovation.

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In Beijing, an exhibition about the 100th anniversary of the May Fourth Movement, a patriotic campaign launched in 1919 by young Chinese to fight imperialism and feudalism, will be held. And in Jiangsu province, the historic relics of the New Fourth Army, led by the Communist Party of China to fight against the Japanese invasion force, will be on display.

A total of 4,296 important heritage sites under State protection and 5,354 museums will either provide free tickets and consultancy or discount tickets and other activities to attract visitors. That includes the Jinsha Ruins in Sichuan province, the Underwater Museum of White Crane Ridge in Chongqing and the Natural History Museum of Guangxi in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Liu Yuzhu, director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, said during this year’s two sessions, the annual meetings of the top legislative and political advisory bodies, that there was an annual increase of about 100 million people visiting museums nationwide over the past three years, and that museums should shoulder more responsibilities as cultural heritage institutions tasked with securing and preserving cultural relics.

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