A grain of truth?

By Cheng Yuezhu | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-04-19 07:43
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Farmers are busy tending their paddy fields in Congjiang, Guizhou province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Seeing as Grain Rain day is both a day to pay tribute to Cang Jie and the UN Chinese Language Day, he believes setting up a Chinese language festival can enhance a sense of cultural identity and bring people from China's ethnic groups more closely together.

"A Chinese language festival should be connected with the UN Chinese Language Day, to provide the world with an opportunity to learn about Chinese culture, with rich cultural displays and diverse artistic performances," Wang says.

Perhaps because of the positive implications of Grain Rain for agriculture, a major line of work in ancient China, it is a day to honor those who made significant contributions to human civilization, another one of them being Yu the Great, the first emperor of the Xia Dynasty (c.21st century-16th century BC).

Before Yu ascended the throne, an unprecedented flood ravaged the country, which he was tasked with mitigating. The story was passed down that, with the greater good in mind, over the next 13 years he regulated water courses around the country, and he passed by his own home three times, but never once stepped inside.

As Yu is considered a prominent historical figure, emperors from different dynasties visited-either in person or via messenger-today's Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, where Yu was recorded to have been buried, to pay tribute to him.

Since 1995, Zhejiang provincial government and the municipal authorities in Shaoxing again started hosting official ceremonies paying homage to Yu the Great. The custom has been listed as a national intangible cultural heritage since 2006.

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