Grand Canal Temple Fair Unveils Its Charm
In ancient times when modern land transportation didn’t exist, the transport of grain from southern China to northern China was mostly conducted via the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, an ancient waterway which continues today to play a significant role in connecting the south and the north, both culturally and economically.
Hangzhou, situated at the southernmost part of the Grand Canal, has benefited a lot from the canal and holds the Grand Canal account for its ever-lasting prosperity since ancient times. In order for more people to know about the canal’s unique folk customs and activities and temple fair culture, from Oct. 21 to 23 the 3rd China Grand Canal Temple Fair will be held in the scenic area of Grand Canal – Hangzhou Section.
Initiated in 2014 the annual China Grand Canal Temple Fair has already become, both at home and abroad, a well-known tourism brand of Hangzhou and proudly serves as a window from which the world can view its many cultures and hidden charms.
Themed on “The Grand Canal's Endless History and Hangzhou's Numerous Attractions”, the temple fair is as usual the core part of the Hangzhou West Lake International Expo. The event consists of seven venues, Yunhe Tiandi, Grand Canal Plaza, Qiaoxi Historic Block, Xiaohe Straight Street, Dadou Road Historic Block, West Lake Cultural Plaza and Tangxi Ancient Town.
During the event, one can stroll along the Grand Canal and experience activities such as a Chinese-style group wedding, a fashion show modeling clothes from the republic period of China, rummy 3D street painting, cosplay performances, creative handicrafts and various other types of fair.
Love in the Grand Canal
The Wedding Ceremony acts as the opening ceremony of the Grand Canal Temple Fair. It follows the wedding tradition prevailing in the Republic period of China and invites 16 newly-weds, carefully selected from the 18 canal-side cities (including a couple who had to postpone their wedding because of G20 Summit), to compose their love stories at the bank of the Grand Canal. If you are interested in traditional Chinese wedding culture then follow your heart and add this to your list of places to visit.
Colorful Activities in Seven Venues
The temple fair is held in seven venues and covers aspects of tradition, folk custom, fashion and creativeness.
In Yunhe Tiandi, besides watching the grand opening ceremony, there are also fashionable and cutting-edge cosplay performances and international life fairs where all kinds of imported merchandises are available. Qiaoxi Historic Block mainly displays traditional and creative handicrafts, whilst the canal-side fairs set in the Grand Canal Plaza are home to numerous regional specialties through which one can understand the development of the Grand Canal culture and the charm of Chinese traditional culture.
The picturesque and elegant Xiaohe Straight Street will be decorated in the style of the Republic period of China and an “Old Hangzhou Garden Party” will be replicated in the Dadou Historic Block showing you how it was in the old Hangzhou days with local delicacies and ancient games. In Xiangji Temple, the “Top Temple along the Grand Canal”, one can savor succulent vegetarian dishes, try out plain dress with fine workmanship and participate in activities such as tea ceremonies and flower arranging.
In West Lake Cultural Plaza many time-honored brands like Hu Qing Yu Tang Pharmacy and Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors will make their appearances.
Grand Canal Cruise
The Grand Canal Temple Fair Special line is a cruise line aiming at offering its visitors a convenient way to participate in the event. The line departs from Wulinmen wharf and passes Xiangji Temple and finally arrives at the Gongchen Bridge. The line operates both ways, connecting all venues of the temple fair.
In the evening, you can also take the “Dreamlike Night Cruise Line” (Wulinmen←→Gongchen Bridge) to appreciate, at close hand, the illuminating beauty of the international-award-winning light show “City•People•Light”.
Visit the Grand Canal and let it enlighten you too.
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