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Jitou Village

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2011-03-31

Located in Pingnan County, Jitou Village was first built in the third year of Emperor Xizong’s reign (876) in the Tang Dynasty. It topped the list of “four hometowns of scholars” in Pingnan and enjoyed the moniker “good Jitou in Pingnan.”

It is a place of talent. In the Ming and Qing dynasties alone, more than 200 people from the village attended civil service exams. Among them, there was Huang Tong, who participated in the compilation of Yongle Canon in the Ming Dynasty, two “Jinshi” (successful candidates in the highest civil service exams) who had an uncle-nephew relationship and drew great attention from Lin Zexu, and three Gongsheng (tributary scholar) who had a father-son relationship and were set as learning examples. Today, the village gives great priority to learning. “Two doctors from a family” is often heard in the village. It is still “good Jitou” in Pingnan. It is a village with a profound cultural foundation. In the ancient times, it was a traffic gateway from Jianning Fu (prefecture) to Funing Fu and Fuzhou Fu, and a center for sea and land intercourse. The splendid culture left many cultural elements to the village and are well preserved. In the village, historical vestiges and remains are everywhere. The ancient residential houses, ancient ancestral halls, ancient temples, ancient tomb groups, ancient dragon wells, ancient couplets written on pillars, and ancient plaques left in the Ming and Qing dynasties are perfectly preserved. When looking at dozens of ancient plaques inscribed with “Wen Kui” (a successful candidate in the academic civil service exams at the provincial level), “Wu Kui” (a successful candidate in the military civil service exams at the provincial level), “centenary couple” and other content, how can the people of Jitou Village not feel proud? When looking at the more than ten chastity archways erected in less than a century of the Qing Dynasty, how can they not sigh with emotion?

As a matter of fact, the attractions in Jitou Village are not limited to these. Every ancient house, ancient wall or ancient alley will bring you back to ancient times. The legends and stories told by the old people in the village are as endless as the water in the Liyu Creek flowing through the village.

Jitou was an open-minded society. Its position as a traffic gateway in the history made it accept Confucian culture, Taoist culture, and even Christian culture. People in today’s Jitou are not closed, either. If you are interested, you may visit local people’s homes and appreciate their cultural relics. The hosts will receive you with smiles and show you their “family heirlooms” to satisfy your curiosity. They will also explain them to you. This shows a great difference from the deep-rooted peasant mentality. In the folk custom and culture festival hosted by the village last year, the villagers performed traditional martial art, operas and other amazing skills, and displayed ancient plaques, ancient phoenix tree couplets and other antiques. Their uncovered opening deeply impressed visitors.