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Intangible Cultural Heritages in Beijing

Intangible Cultural Heritages in Beijing

Diabolo Spinning

The Diabolo has become extremely popular throughout the world.  Spinning the cups, or discs, is now a major sport, a popular exercise, a wonderful child’s toy and great performance art (from major Chinese acrobatic troupes with stunning diabolo routines to the Cirque du Soleil, for example).  It has also been called ‘the Chinese yoyo’, and in its current form the diabolo did evolve from the Chinese yoyo.  It consists of two rods joined with string, and the diabolo itself, disc-shaped wheels joined by a wooden spool at the center. More

Ivory Carving

Ivory carving has a long, long history, in the artistic shaping and decoration of ivory.  The ivory carving styles of Beijing and Guangzhou are distinct.

Beijing ivory carving can trace its history to two thousand years ago. During its later development, many excellent craftsmen were recruited to Beijing from other provinces to exchange and discuss workmanship with local craftsmen. Therefore, Beijing ivory carving exemplifies palace art, displaying elegant and poised features that have formed a unique technology following hundreds of years of practice. Beijing ivory carving declined during the late Qing Dynasty, but was redeveloped thanks to the efforts of famous ivory carver, YangShihui, and his successors. More

Cloisonné Making Skills

Beijing Cloisonné technology is also called copper wiry enamel. The technology developed during the Jingtai reign (1450-1457) of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), with the main color used being blue, hence the name “Jingtai blue”. After a design is agreed the object to be created is first shaped from copper and fired.  The decorative design is then applied using hair-thin copper wires which are pinched, temporarily glued and then welded to the surface of the cast. The concave designs are then filled with enamel and glaze of different colors. After being fired, polished and a final touch of gilding, a cloisonné product is finished. More

Tongrentang Chinese Medicine Culture

As an old brand of traditional Chinese medicine famous both in and outside China, Beijing Tongrentang was first built in 1669. Since Tongrentang started to make medicines for the royal court in 1723, it followed the imperial standard for medicinal materials and adhered to the secret imperial prescriptions and pharmaceutical methods throughout the 188 years until 1911, forming a strict quality supervision system. As a result, Tongrentang, together with Institute of Imperial Physicians of the Qing Dynasty and the Imperial Dispensary, has formed a particular style and traditional knowledge of Tongrentang Chinese medicine based on their harmonious cooperation. More

Changdian Temple Fair

Changdian Temple Fair in Beijing’s Xuanwu District has had a chequered history.  It started during the reign of Jiajing (Ming Dynasty), expanded during the reign of Kangxi and thrived during the reign of Qianlong, (both of the Qing Dynasty). In the seventh year of the Republic of China (A.D 1918), the Fair was reformed by the municipal authority, to be held from the first to the fifth day of the first month of the lunar New Year, and based in Changdian and Hai Wangcun Park, when it became the unique official Spring Festival Fair. Changdian Temple Fair was almost closed down around 1945. After the liberation of China in 1949, the Temple Fair was held between Heping Gate and the intersection of Hufang Bridge during the first fifteen days of the first lunar month. However, it was discontinued following a natural disaster in 1960. By 1963, the municipal government reopened it, creating a great sensation in the city. It later closed down during the road repairs and the Cultural Revolution. More