West Lake Tianzhu bamboo chopsticks, among the top 10 Chinese chopsticks, are Hangzhou local precious intangible cultural relics, dubbed together with Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors, Wang Xing Ji Fans and West Lake Silks as “Hangzhou four treasures”.
The West Lake Tianzhu bamboo chopsticks are elaborately made of indocalamus of large-leaf variety from Hangzhou Tianzhu Mountain, with colorful pyrograph. They can be classified in different ways: 9 cun (a unit of length, 1 cun equals to 3.33 decimeters), 9.5 cun, 10 cun and 10.5 cun by length; coarse, medium, slender by thickness; Buddha, landscape, flowers, West Lake scenery by pyrograph; silver, bead, lead, iron and bone by the material of the chopstick head. The West Lake Tianzhu bamboo chopsticks are smooth, lightweight, durable, economical and easy to wash. Dyeing won’t fade.
West Lake Tianzhu bamboo chopsticks, adorned with lucky clouds and Buddha, are widely welcomed among pilgrims during temple fair festivals, which is said to bring good luck to families. Legend has it that in the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty, temples on the West Lake Tianzhu Mountain always received large amount of pilgrims. When they had vegetarian dishes, chopsticks were in shortage. To solve this problem, the monks cut bamboos in the mountain into short sections to make chopsticks. Those chopsticks not only had bamboo fragrance but also resembled burning incenses. So they were warm welcomed and thought to add the luck to get something nice to eat to families and preserve religious devotion. Now West Lake bamboo chopstick is almost a must-buy souvenir for pilgrims and tourists, especially among Buddhist countries in the Southeast Asia.
Recently, the city of Hangzhou was advertised in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and the ten-thousand-people time travel record of Hangzhou’s Song Dynasty Town has also been publicized in New York’s Times Square.