Explore vibrant cultural heritage in Shandong

(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2023-09-07

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The Yellow River, known as China's "mother river", spans about 5,464 kilometers and flows through nine provincial-level regions. It is the cradle of Chinese civilization and a witness to its history. It's also a historical river, a heritage river and an ecological river.

The waterway flows through nine cities and enters the sea in Shandong province. It is an age-old witness to local culture and has helped nurture the bountiful intangible cultural heritage items in Shandong.

The only coastal province along the Yellow River, Shandong abounds in intangible cultural heritage. According to statistics from the Shandong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, Shandong is also home to four UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Mount Tai, and has eight items inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The province has 186 national-level intangible cultural heritage items, ranking second in the country.

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The Weifang kite-making technique is one of many national intangible cultural heritage items. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Weifang in Shandong is endowed with rich cultural resources. Traditional folk arts like kites and woodprints have stood the test of time and gained a reputation both at home and abroad.

Kites symbolize culture and industry in Weifang. Widely known as the world capital of kites, Weifang has a history of flying kites dating back about 2,400 years. The Weifang kite-making technique has been listed as a national intangible cultural heritage item.

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A file photo of the Yangjiabu New Year woodblock painting. [Photo/WeChat account: gh_8abb78e0d6a3]

Weifang's Yangjiabu village has a history of making New Year paintings for some 600 years since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). As a form of national intangible cultural heritage, the art form is one of China's three traditional New Year folk painting styles, along with Tianjin's Yangliuqing and Suzhou's Taohuawu.

The Laomao Lantern is also a unique handicraft in Weifang, and has been listed as a municipal level intangible cultural heritage item.

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Laomao lanterns are shown in Weifang. [Photo/WeChat account: gh_8abb78e0d6a3]

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