Shaoxing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Shaoxing
绍兴市
Prefecture-level city
Shaoxing.gif
Location of Shaoxing City jurisdiction in Zhejiang
Location of Shaoxing City jurisdiction in Zhejiang
Country People's Republic of China
Province Zhejiang
County-level divisions 6
Government
 • Mayor Yu Zhihong (俞志宏)
Area
 • Land 8,332 km2 (3,217 sq mi)
Population (2010 census)
 • Total 4,912,200
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Area code(s) 0570
GDP 2010 ¥278.3 billion
GDP per capita 2010 ¥63,486
License Plate Prefix 浙D
Website http://www.sx.gov.cn/
City flower Orchid
Shaoxing
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese

About this sound Shaoxing  (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: 紹興; pinyin: Shàoxīng) is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Zhejiang province, People's Republic of China. It was formerly known as Kuaiji (會稽) and Shanyin (山陰), and known as Yue () for short. Located on the south bank of the Qiantang River estuary, it borders Ningbo to the east, Taizhou to the southeast, Jinhua to the southwest, and Hangzhou to the west. The city itself is lined with numerous canals and waterways, giving it a classic Jiangnan style scenery though more mountainous than is typical for Jiangnan.

Shaoxing has long been a hotbed of Chinese cultural activity, producing such luminary figures as Wang Xizhi, Zhou Enlai, Lu Xun, and Cai Yuanpei. It is widely known throughout China for Shaoxing wine, meigan cai, and stinky tofu, and was recently featured in A Bite of China. Its local variety of Chinese opera sung in the local dialect and known as Shaoxing opera is second in popularity only to Peking opera.

Shaoxing is also known for its progressive administrative efforts in historical preservation and environmental protection. Its successful preservation of many culturally important historical sites has furthermore made Shaoxing an extremely popular tourist destination, and in addition to its many historical places of interest has a large number of museums for a city of its size. Shaoxing has some of the cleanest skies and some of the best air quality index ratings in coastal China. In the year 2010, Shaoxing celebrated the 2500-year anniversary of the founding of the city.

Economically, the city's driven by manufacturing of textiles, electronics, and energy efficient lighting. Zhejiang has the fifth highest per capita GDP in the nation, with the city itself at 32nd nationally by GDP per capita.

Etymology

The city was first named Shaoxing in 1131 during the Southern Song dynasty. The name comes from the Shaoxing reign period of Emperor Gaozong of Song, and is a poetic term meaning "continuing prosperity".1

History

Modern-day Shaoxing sits on the site of the capital of the Spring and Autumn Period State of Yue. Around the sixth century BC, Yue had a sinicised ruling elite which fought a number of wars against its northern archrival, the State of Wu.

Shaoxing was known by the name Kuaiji (會稽) for much of its history. It was a prefecture during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1644 and 1644-1912), containing the following eight counties, the first two of which constituted Shaoxing's urbanized core and the final two its backwoods periphery: Shanyin, Kuaiji, Yuyao, Zhuji, Xiaoshan, Shangyu, Xinchang, and Cheng (aka Sheng) xian. From the later Ming through the Qing, Shaoxing was famous (or notorious) for its network of native sons throughout the Chinese government bureaucracy, cooperating out of native-place loyalty. In addition to the substantial number of Shaoxing natives who succeeded in becoming officials via the regular civil-service examination route, this vertical Shaoxing clique also included county-level jail wardens, plus unofficial legal specialists (muyou) working privately for officials at the county, prefectural, and provincial levels, plus clerks working in Beijing's Six Boards (central administrative offices), especially the Boards of Revenue and Punishment. The legal experts were also known as Shaoxing shiye (Shaoxing masters), and they were indispensable advisers to the local and regional officials who employed them, since their knowledge of the detailed Qing legal code permitted the officials, whose education was in the Confucian Classics, to competently perform one of their major functions, that of judging local civil and criminal cases. Coming from the same gentry social class as the officials, the legal experts were expected to adhere to the ethical dictum enunciated by Wang Huizu, Shaoxing's most famous muyou: "If not in accord [with your employer], then leave" (Bu he ze qu).2

Under the Republic of China (1912-1949), the prefecture was abolished and the name Shaoxing was applied to a new county comprising the former Shanyin and Kuaiji. Under the People's Republic of China Shaoxing is a municipality with a somewhat smaller land area than its Ming-Qing namesake prefecture, having lost Xiaoshan county to Hangzhou on the west and Yuyao county to Ningbo on the east.

Administration

The prefecture-level city of Shaoxing administers three districts, two county-level cities and one counties.

Map
Shaoxing mcp.jpg
# Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin
1 Yuecheng District 越城区 Yuèchéng Qū
2 Zhuji City 诸暨市 Zhūjì Shì
3 Shangyu District 上虞区 Shàngyú Qū
4 Shengzhou City 嵊州市 Shèngzhōu Shì
5 Keqiao District 柯桥区 Keqiao Qū
6 Xinchang County 新昌县 Xīnchāng Xiàn

Geography and climate

Tourism

A boat on one of Shaoxing's waterways, near the city center
  • Lu Xun's residence is preserved near the middle of the city, and has become a tourist destination.
  • East Lake (东湖) is a traditional scenic area just out of town.
  • Shaoxing has the Tomb of Yu the Great (大禹陵).

Shaoxing has a very famous place named Sanwei Bookstore. This house was built in the end of Qing Dynasty around 1890, which was the place for Clan Lu to live in That clan used to be very thrived in ShaoXing, and one extraordinary writer born a this house is famous- LuXun. Luxun studied both western Econonmics and Literature as well as Chinese courses in that house since his childhood. At this house, LuXun grew from a child to youth having confirmed dreams. After he return to China, he decided to expanded this house into a primary school. He named that school "Shan Wei school". Luxun realized that the core of development for Shaoxing was the education, which could inspire the tired country. He introduced advanced techs, and knowledge into that elementary school, providing that great opportunity too all the kids in Shaoxing.

Events

Shaoxing was the location of the official world choir games in 2010.3 It will host the world Korfball championship in late October 2011.

Shaoxing wine

  • Chinese rice wine (黃酒) is also known as Shaoxing wine (紹興酒) or simply Shao Wine (紹酒). The brewery utilizes a natural process using the "pure" water of the Jianhu-Mirror Lake. It has a unique flavour and a reputation both nationally and internationally. It is used both as a liquor and in cooking as well as a solvent for Chinese herbal medicated ointments. The China Shaoxing Yellow Wine Group Corporation produces 110,000 tons annually for domestic and overseas markets. [1]

Shaoxing Zhufu

The Dashan Pagoda in Shaoxing
Boats in Donghu (east lake), a lake in Shaoxing

Due to its long history, Shaoxing has accumulated and handed down a characteristic culture known as "Yue Culture". As an important part of Yue Culture and a traditional folk custom of Shaoxing, Zhufu (祝福, literally "worshipping the God of Blessing") still has great influence on Shaoxing people and their lives.

History and background

Zhufu is also called Zuofu and is the most prominent annual sacrificial ceremony in Shaoxing. The gods worshipped are Nanchao Shengzhong (南朝圣众) and Huangshan Xinan (黄山西南). They have been worhipped since the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368 CE). Legend holds that when the government of the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE) was overthrown by the Mongolian army and replaced by the Yuan Dynasty, the original Song citizens, namely the Han people, were extremely afraid of the newly established minority political power. They secretly offered sacrifices at midnight to the emperors of South Song Dynasty and those patriotic martyrs who died to save the nation.

Nanchao Shengzhong refers to a group of martyrs, who died in the war of resistance against the Mongolian invasion, including Emperor Huaizong of Song, last emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty, Wen Tianxiang, scholar-general of Southern Song Dynasty, who was captured but didn’t give in to the enemy and later was killed by the Yuan Government, and Lu Xiufu, the Southern Song Prime Minister who committed suicide, together with Emperor Huaizong and 800 other officials and members of the imperial court. Huangshan Xinan refers to two anonymous brothers who sacrificed their lives to save civilians from being killed by the Mongolian army. In memory of the brothers, the local people named the place where they were killed after them and offered sacrifice to a portrait or statue of the brothers.

Records show that the Mongolian nobility, the ruling class of the Yuan Dynasty, treated the Han people harshly,citation needed such that the Han people created and cleverly disguised their gods Nanchao Shengzhong and Huangshan Xinan in order to mourn for the lost nation and its patriotic martyrs whilst praying for their blessing. The ruling class knew only of the ostensible purpose of the annual sacrificial ceremony, believing it was the means to entertain the God of Blessing and pray for a good harvest the next year as well as harmony. The ceremony was handed down from generation to generation and finally became a convention whilst its political meaning gradually dimmed. It became a pure sacrificial ceremony, held annually to offer thanks to the God of Blessing for all his blessings and to pray for the next year's blessing.

Dates

Zhufu is often held during the period between December 24 and December 28 according to the Chinese lunar calendar. Shaoxing people first choose an auspicious day according to the Chinese lunar calendar to hold the ceremony. In Shaoxing, the days between December 20 and December 30 of the Chinese lunar calendar are called nights instead of days so as to remind homemakers that the Spring Festival is approaching and they should hurry up to prepare for Zhufu and the Spring Festival.

Ceremonial rite

Thereafter, the officiant of the ceremony who is usually the man of the house, lights incense and red candles, hangs golden and silver Taiding made of paper on the left and right candleholders, puts cushions for kneeling on the ground in order, and inserts a Mazhang Stick, which represents Nanchao Shengzhong or Huangshan Xinan into the prepared holder. Females are not allowed to be present whilst the sacrifice is underway. After tasks are completed, the male members of the family successively kneel down facing the main door and kowtow to the god. At that moment there are many taboos. For example, the wine should not be poured from a cup, and chopsticks should not fall into the ground. Silence is also maintained to avoid taboos.

When all is prepared, the officiant pours wine for those present. They hold their wine cups high as quickly as possible to see the god out. Then the officiant burns the Mazhang Stick together with golden and silver Taiding in the courtyard. He cuts the tongues from the chicken and goose then throws them on to the roof of the house at the same time and praying to the god to take away the tongues which symbolize possible calamities emanating from the spoken word. Finally, the officiant put a cup of wine with tea onto the ashes of Mazhang Stick signifiying the end of Zhufu. Ancestor worship follows the ceremony and, although similar to Zhufu, differences do exist. After worship, the family sits down at tables and eat Fuli together, which they call Sanfu or sharing the blessings.

As a featured folk custom, Zhufu has been handed down and well protected as part of Shaoxing's cultural heritage. It is reputable because of its special origin. It was widely spread by Lu Xun in his short story Zhufu, which he named after the sacrificial ceremony. Whilst deeply moved by the ill-fated leading character of the novel, readers meanwhile get to learn the details of Zhufu.

Notable people & Places

See also

References

  1. ^ Zhongguo gujin diming dacidian 中国古今地名大词典 [Dictionary of Chinese Place-names Ancient and Modern] (Shanghai: Shanghai cishu chubanshe, 2005), 2006.
  2. ^ James H. Cole, Shaohsing: Competition and Cooperation in Nineteenth-Century China (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, Association for Asian Studies Monograph Series, 1986); James H. Cole, "The Shaoxing Connection: A Vertical Administrative Clique in Late Qing China," Modern China 6 #3 (July 1980), 317-326.
  3. ^ http://musica-mundi.com

External links

Coordinates: 30°00′N 120°35′E / 30.000°N 120.583°E / 30.000; 120.583








Creative Commons License