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Shaoxing (; ) is a
prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It ...
on the southern shore of
Hangzhou Bay Hangzhou Bay, or the Bay of Hangzhou (), is a funnel-shaped inlet of the East China Sea The East China Sea is an arm of the Western Pacific Ocean, located directly offshore from East China (hence the name), covering an area of roughly . ...
in northeastern
Zhejiang Zhejiang (, ; , Chinese postal romanization, also romanized as Chekiang) is an East China, eastern, coastal Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered ...

Zhejiang
province, China. It was formerly known as Kuaiji and Shanyin and
abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; for example, the word ''abbrevia ...
in Chinese as (''Yuè'') from the area's
former inhabitants
former inhabitants
. Located on the south bank of the
Qiantang River The Qiantang River or alternatively Tsientang River is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dr ...
estuary, it borders
Ningbo Ningbo (; , Putonghua, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ), Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanized as Ningpo, is a major sub-provincial city in northeast Zhejiang Provinces of China, province, China, People's Republic of China. It com ...
to the east,
Taizhou Taizhou (Taichow) may refer to either of two cities in eastern China: * Taizhou, Jiangsu (), located on the Yangtze River, northwest of Shanghai * Taizhou, Zhejiang (), located along the East China Sea, south of Shanghai See also

* Táozhō ...
to the southeast,
Jinhua , alternately romanized as Kinhwa, is a prefecture-level city in central Zhejiang province in eastern China. It borders the provincial capital of Hangzhou to the northwest, Quzhou to the southwest, Lishui to the south, Taizhou, Zhejiang, Taizh ...

Jinhua
to the southwest, and
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca A lingua franca (; ...

Hangzhou
to the west. As of 2010, its population was 4,912,339 inhabitants. Among which, 1,914,683 (Keqiao and Yuecheng districts) lived in the built-up metropolitan area of
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca A lingua franca (; ...

Hangzhou
-Shaoxing, with a total of 8,156,154 inhabitants. Notable residents of Shaoxing include
Wang Xizhi Wang Xizhi (; ; 303 AD361 AD) was a Chinese calligrapher, politician, general and writer during the Jin Dynasty (266–420), Jin dynasty. He was best known for his mastery of Chinese calligraphy. Wang is sometimes regarded as the greatest Chines ...

Wang Xizhi
, the parents of
Zhou Enlai Zhou Enlai (; 5 March 1898 – 8 January 1976) was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China The premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, abbreviated to Premier, sometimes also referred to informally as ...

Zhou Enlai
,
Lu Xun Zhou Shuren (25 September 1881 – 19 October 1936), better known by his pen name Lu Xun (or Lu Sun, Wade–Giles: Lu Hsün), was a Chinese writer, essayist, poet, and literary critic. He was a leading figure of modern Chinese literature. Writ ...
, and
Cai Yuanpei Cai Yuanpei (; 11 January 1868 – 5 March 1940) was a Chinese philosopher and politician as well as an influential educationalist in the history of Chinese modern education. He made contributions to education reform with his own education ideol ...

Cai Yuanpei
. It is also noted for
Shaoxing wine Shaoxing wine (''Shaohing'', ''Shaoshing'') is one of the most famous varieties of huangjiu, or traditional Chinese wines, fermented from rice. It originates from the region of Shaoxing, in the Zhejiang province of eastern China. It is widely used ...
, meigan cai, and
stinky tofu Stinky tofu () is a Chinese form of fermented tofu Fermented tofu (also called fermented bean curd, white bean-curd cheese, tofu cheese, soy cheese or preserved tofu) is a Chinese condiment Image:Salt, sugar and pepper shakers.jpg, Salt, bl ...
, and was featured on ''
A Bite of China ''A Bite of China'' () is a Chinese documentary television series on the history of food, eating, and cooking in China directed by Chen Xiaoqing (), narrated by Li Lihong () with original music composed by Roc Chen (). It first aired 14 May 2012 ...
''. Its local variety of
Chinese opera Traditional Chinese opera (), or ''Xiqu'', is a form of musical theatre in China with roots going back to the early periods in China. It is an amalgamation of various art forms that existed in ancient China, and evolved gradually over more tha ...
sung in the local dialect and known as
Yue opera Yue opera, also known as Shaoxing opera, is the Chinese opera genre. Only Peking opera is more popular nationwide. Originating in Shengzhou, Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province in 1906, Yue opera features actresses in male roles as well as femininity i ...
is second in popularity only to
Peking opera Peking opera, or Beijing opera (), is the most dominant form of Chinese opera Traditional Chinese opera (), or ''Xiqu'', is a form of musical theatre in China with roots going back to the early periods in China. It is an amalgamation of var ...
. In 2010, Shaoxing celebrated the 2,500th anniversary of the founding of the city. Economically, the city is driven by manufacturing of textiles, electronics, and energy-efficient lighting. Zhejiang has the fifth highest per capita GDP in the nation, with the city itself at 32nd nationally by GDP per capita.


Etymology

The city was first named Shaoxing in 1131 A.D. during the
Southern Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
. The name comes from the Shaoxing reign period of
Emperor Gaozong of Song Emperor Gaozong of Song (12 June 1107 – 9 November 1187), personal name Zhao Gou, courtesy name Deji, was the tenth emperor of the Song dynasty of China and the founding emperor of the Southern Song dynasty. He was the ninth son of Empero ...
, and is a poetic term meaning "inheriting the imperial task and resurging to prosperity".


History


Early history

Modern-day Shaoxing lies north of the Kuaiji Mountains, which were an important center of the people of Yue during
ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese h ...
's
Spring and Autumn period #REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dyna ...
.
Chinese legend Chinese mythology () is mythology Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfictional ( memoir, biography, news report, documentar ...
connected them with events in the life of
Yu the Great Yu the Great (大禹) was a legendary king in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was me ...
, the founder of the
Xia Xia (Hsia in Wade–Giles) may refer to: Chinese history * Xia dynasty (夏) (c. 2070 – c. 1600 BC) * Xia (Sixteen Kingdoms) (夏) (407–431), a Xiongnu state * Xia (夏) (617–621), a state founded by Dou Jiande near the end of the Sui dynast ...

Xia
. Around the early 5th century BC, the time of Yue's famous king
Goujian Goujian () (reigned 496–465 BC) was the king of the State of Yue, Kingdom of Yue (present-day northern Zhejiang) near the end of the Spring and Autumn period. He was the son of King Yunchang. Goujian's reign coincided with arguably the last ma ...

Goujian
, his people began establishing permanent centers in the alluvial plain north of the hills. Following his freedom from captivity in Wu, Goujian commissioned his advisor
Fan Li Fan Li () from the Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from th ...
to erect a major triangular fortification in the area of present-day Shaoxing's
Yuecheng District Yuecheng District , is a county-level district which forms the core of the municipality of Shaoxing Shaoxing (; ) is a prefecture-level city A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County ...
. Following Yue's conquest of Wu, though, its royal court was removed to its former rival's capital (present-day
Suzhou Suzhou (; ; , Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and c ...

Suzhou
) until its own conquest by
Chu Chu or CHU may refer to: Chinese history * Chu (state) (c. 1030 BC–223 BC), a state during the Zhou dynasty * Western Chu (206 BC–202 BC), a state founded and ruled by Xiang Yu * Chu Kingdom (Han dynasty) (201 BC–70 AD), a kingdom of the Han ...
in 334 BC.Hargett, James M. Hargett.
: Guaiji? Guiji? Huiji? Kuaiji? Some Remarks on an Ancient Chinese Place-Name
in ''Sino-Platonic Papers'', No. 234. March 2013. Accessed 24 July 2014.
Following the area's conquest in 222 BC, the
Qin Empire The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles romanization, was the first Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty of Imperial China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. Named for its heartland in Qin (state), Qin state (modern Gansu and Shaanxi), ...
's
Kuaiji Commandery Kuaiji Commandery (Chinese language, Chinese: traditional characters, t , simplified characters, s , pinyin, p ''Kuàijī Jùn''), Wade-Giles, formerly romanized as K'uai-chi Commandery, was a former commandery (China), command ...
was also established in Wu (which then took the name "Kuaiji" from this role) but the
First Emperor Qin Shi Huang (, ; 259–210 BCE), or Shihuangdi, was the founder of the Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a Romanization of Chinese, romanization system for Standard Chinese, Manda ...
visited the town in the last year of his reign (210 BC), ascending
Mount Kuaiji Mount Xianglu () is a mountain near Shaoxing Shaoxing (; ) is a prefecture-level city A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still from the Huangsh ...
(present-day Mount Xianglu) and sacrificing to the spirit of Yu. The commemorative
stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but this is only rarely encountered in English. or occasionally stela (plural ''stelas'' or ''stelæ''), ...
he erected is now lost but was visited by
Sima Qian Sima Qian (; ; ) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu B ...

Sima Qian
during his 1st-century BC pilgrimage of China's historical sites and was preserved in his ''
Records of the Grand Historian The ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dep ...

Records of the Grand Historian
''. By the time of the , the lands between the
Yangtze The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ) is the longest river in Asia, the third-longest in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in the Tanggula Mountains The Tanggula ( Chinese:  ...
and
Hangzhou Bay Hangzhou Bay, or the Bay of Hangzhou (), is a funnel-shaped inlet of the East China Sea The East China Sea is an arm of the Western Pacific Ocean, located directly offshore from East China (hence the name), covering an area of roughly . ...
received their own commanderies and administration of
Kuaiji Shaoxing (; ) is a prefecture-level city A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still from the Huangshi main urban area. A prefectural-level muni ...
—then stretching along the south shore of the bay from (present-day
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca A lingua franca (; ...

Hangzhou
) to the
East China Sea The East China Sea is an arm of the Western Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% o ...

East China Sea
. The area's capital in present-day Yuecheng was then known as Kuaiji until the 12th century, when it was renamed Shaoxing. The present site of Yu's mausoleum dates to the 6th-century
Southern Dynasties The Northern and Southern dynasties () was a period in the history of China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also histori ...
period.


Ming and Qing Dynasties

Under the
Ming The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming
and
Qing The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last imperial dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press Oxford Univers ...
dynasties A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). Th ...
, the area was organized as a
prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power ...

prefecture
containing the following eight
counties A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes Chambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
: urban
Kuaiji Shaoxing (; ) is a prefecture-level city A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still from the Huangshi main urban area. A prefectural-level muni ...
and Shanyin and rural Yuyao, Zhuji, Xiaoshan, Shangyu, Xinchang, and Cheng (or Sheng). From the later Ming through the Qing, Shaoxing was famous (or notorious) for its network of native sons throughout the Chinese government bureaucracy, cooperating out of native-place loyalty. In addition to the substantial number of Shaoxing natives who succeeded in becoming officials via the regular civil-service examination route, this vertical Shaoxing clique also included county-level jail wardens, plus unofficial legal specialists (muyou) working privately for officials at the county, prefectural, and provincial levels, plus clerks working in Beijing's Six Boards (central administrative offices), especially the Boards of Revenue and Punishment. The legal experts were also known as Shaoxing shiye (Shaoxing masters), and they were indispensable advisers to the local and regional officials who employed them, since their knowledge of the detailed Qing legal code permitted the officials, whose education was in the Confucian Classics, to competently perform one of their major functions, that of judging local civil and criminal cases. Coming from the same gentry social class as the officials, the legal experts were expected to adhere to the ethical dictum enunciated by Wang Huizu, Shaoxing's most famous muyou: "If not in accord ith your employer then leave" (''Bu he ze qu''). During the
Taiping Rebellion The Taiping Rebellion, also known as the Taiping Civil War or the Taiping Revolution, was a massive rebellion Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an ...
Shaoxing was home to a local militia leader named Bao Lisheng who organized an armed resistance to the Taiping army in his home village of Baochun. Bao was a
martial arts Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practiced for a number of reasons such as self-defense; military and law enforcement applications; combat sport, competition; physical, mental, and spiritual development; entertainment; an ...
expert and recruited thousands of people from the surrounding area to his cause by convincing them he had supernatural powers. However, after a months-long siege, Baochun was captured by the Taiping.


People's Republic of China

Under the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...
during the early 20th century, the prefecture was abolished and the name Shaoxing was applied to a new county comprising the former Shanyin and Kuaiji. Currently, Shaoxing is a municipality with a somewhat smaller land area than its Ming-Qing namesake prefecture, having lost Xiaoshan county to Hangzhou on the west and Yuyao county to Ningbo on the east.


Geography and climate


Administration

The
prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It ...
of Shaoxing administers three
districts A district is a type of administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic ...
, two
county-level cities A county-level municipality (), county-level city or county city, formerly known as prefecture-controlled city (1949–1970: ; 1970–1983: ), is a county-level administrative division of the People's Republic of China China ...
and one
county A county is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment ...
.


Sights at downtown

There are a number of historical places connected with the writer Lu Xun: * Lu Xun Native Place () near the centre of the city. * Xianheng Hotel (), founded in 1894, mentioned in works by the novelist. In front of the gate is a statue of Kong Yiji, a character in one of his stories. * Sanwei School (), built around 1890, at the end of the Qing Dynasty. It was used by the Zhou clan. The writer was born there and grew up in the house, where he studied both western economics and literature as well as Chinese subjects. After he returned to China, he turned it into a primary school, believing that education could inspire national regeneration. He introduced advanced ideas, and technical knowledge to provide opportunities for children in Shaoxing. * Baicao Garden () Historical sites: * Mount Fu (), also called Mount Wolong (): Palace of King Yue (), Stadium of King Yue (), King Yue (; ~520–465 BC) lived there for 19 years. Tomb of WenZhong (), the right minister of King Yue. Spring of Innocence () discovered and named by Fan Zhongyan (), one of the most famous philosopher and poet during his one-year commissioner in the
State of Yue Yue (, Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a co ...
. Old dragon Spruce () said was planted by Emperor Zhao Gou () in South Song Dynasty. * Shen Garden (), in Yan'an Road, associated with the poet
Lu You Lu You (; 1125–1209) was a Chinese historian and poet A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to a ...
and his love for his first wife Tang Wan. The garden dates back to the
Southern Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
. * Green Vine Studio (), former home of the
Ming The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming
period painter and calligrapher
Xu Wei Xu Wei (, 1521–1593), other department Qingteng Shanren (), was a Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ...
. *
Qiu Jin Qiu Jin (; 8 November 1875 – 15 July 1907) was a Chinese revolutionary, feminist, and writer. Her courtesy names are Xuanqing () and Jingxiong (). Her Art name, sobriquet name is Jianhu Nüxia () which, when translated literally into English, ...

Qiu Jin
's House (),
Qing The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
period. *
Zhou Enlai Zhou Enlai (; 5 March 1898 – 8 January 1976) was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China The premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, abbreviated to Premier, sometimes also referred to informally as ...

Zhou Enlai
's ancestral home (),
Ming The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming
period.


Suburban sites

* Tomb of
Yu the Great Yu the Great (大禹) was a legendary king in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was me ...
(), legendary founder of the
Xia Dynasty #REDIRECT Xia dynasty #REDIRECT Xia dynasty The Xia dynasty is the first dynasty in traditional Chinese historiography. According to tradition, the Xia dynasty was established by the legendary Yu the Great, after Shun, the last of the Five ...

Xia Dynasty
. * Orchid Pavilion (), commemorating the one of the most famous calligrapher, general
Wang Xizhi Wang Xizhi (; ; 303 AD361 AD) was a Chinese calligrapher, politician, general and writer during the Jin Dynasty (266–420), Jin dynasty. He was best known for his mastery of Chinese calligraphy. Wang is sometimes regarded as the greatest Chines ...

Wang Xizhi
and his famous work
Lantingji Xu The ''Lantingji Xu'' () or ''Lanting Xu'', is a piece of Chinese calligraphy Chinese calligraphy is the writing of Chinese characters Chinese characters, also called ''Hanzi'' (), are logograms developed for the writing of Chinese. ...
(), written in Shaoxing in 353 AD. * (), scenic area outside the city.


Special events

Shaoxing was the location of the official
world choir games The World Choir Games (formerly named the Choir Olympics) is the largest global choral festival and competition. Organised by the Interkultur Foundation for amateur choirs from all over the world, regardless of their country of origin, race, genre ...
in 2010. It also hosted the world
Korfball Korfball ( nl, korfbal) is a ball sport, with similarities to netball and basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compe ...
championship in late October 2011.


Shaoxing wine

* Chinese rice wine is also known as
Shaoxing wine Shaoxing wine (''Shaohing'', ''Shaoshing'') is one of the most famous varieties of huangjiu, or traditional Chinese wines, fermented from rice. It originates from the region of Shaoxing, in the Zhejiang province of eastern China. It is widely used ...
or simply Shao Wine (). The brewery utilizes a natural process using the "pure" water of the Jianhu-Mirror Lake. It has a unique flavour and a reputation both nationally and internationally. It is used as a liquor and in cooking as well as a solvent for Chinese herbal medicated ointments. The China Shaoxing Yellow Wine Group Corporation produces 110,000 tons annually for domestic and overseas markets


Zhufu folk customs

Due to its long history, Shaoxing has accumulated and handed down a characteristic culture known as "Yue Culture". As an important part of Yue Culture and a traditional folk custom of Shaoxing, Zhufu () still has great influence on Shaoxing people and their lives.


History and background

Zhufu is also called Zuofu and is the most prominent annual sacrificial ceremony in Shaoxing. The gods worshipped are Nanchao Shengzhong () and Huangshan Xinan (). They have been worshipped since the
Yuan Dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succ ...
(1279-1368 CE). Legend holds that when the government of the
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
(960-1279 CE) was overthrown by the Mongolian army and replaced by the Yuan Dynasty, the original Song citizens, namely the Han people, were extremely afraid of the newly established minority political power. They secretly offered sacrifices at midnight to the emperors of South Song Dynasty and those patriotic martyrs who died to save the nation. Nanchao Shengzhong refers to a group of martyrs, who died in the war of resistance against the Mongolian invasion, including Emperor Huaizong of Song, last emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty,
Wen Tianxiang Wen Tianxiang (; June 6, 1236 – January 9, 1283 AD), Duke of Xinguo (), was a Chinese poet and politician in the last years of the Southern Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in ...

Wen Tianxiang
, scholar-general of Southern Song Dynasty, who was captured but didn't give in to the enemy and later was killed by the Yuan Government, and
Lu Xiufu Lu Xiufu (8 November 1236 – 19 March 1279), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the Sinosphere, including Chi ...
, the Southern Song Prime Minister who committed suicide, together with Emperor Huaizong and 800 other officials and members of the imperial court. Huangshan Xinan refers to two anonymous brothers who sacrificed their lives to save civilians from being killed by the Mongolian army. In memory of the brothers, the local people named the place where they were killed after them and offered sacrifice to a portrait or statue of the brothers. Records show that the Mongolian nobility, the ruling class of the Yuan Dynasty, treated the Han people harshly, such that the Han people created and cleverly disguised their gods Nanchao Shengzhong and Huangshan Xinan in order to mourn for the lost nation and its patriotic martyrs whilst praying for their blessing. The ruling class knew only of the ostensible purpose of the annual sacrificial ceremony, believing it was the means to entertain the God of Blessing and pray for a good harvest the next year as well as harmony. The ceremony was handed down from generation to generation and finally became a convention whilst its political meaning gradually dimmed. It became a pure sacrificial ceremony, held annually to offer thanks to the God of Blessing for all his blessings and to pray for the next year's blessing.


Dates

Zhufu is often held during the period between December 24 and December 28 according to the Chinese lunar calendar. Shaoxing people first choose an auspicious day according to the Chinese lunar calendar to hold the ceremony. In Shaoxing, the days between December 20 and December 30 of the Chinese lunar calendar are called nights instead of days so as to remind homemakers that the Spring Festival is approaching and they should hurry up to prepare for Zhufu and the Spring Festival.


Ceremonial rite

Thereafter, the officiant of the ceremony who is usually the man of the house, lights incense and red candles, hangs golden and silver ''Taiding'' made of paper on the left and right candleholders, puts cushions for kneeling on the ground in order, and inserts a Mazhang Stick, which represents Nanchao Shengzhong or Huangshan Xinan into the prepared holder. Females are not allowed to be present whilst the sacrifice is underway. After tasks are completed, the male members of the family successively kneel down facing the main door and
kowtow Kowtow, which is borrowed from ''kau tau'' in Cantonese Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t; Yale romanization of Cantonese, Yale: ''Gwóngdūng wá'') is a language within the Varieties of Chinese, Chinese (Sinitic) branch of t ...
to the god. At that moment there are many taboos. For example, the wine should not be poured from a cup, and chopsticks should not fall into the ground. Silence is also maintained to avoid taboos. When all is prepared, the officiant pours wine for those present. They hold their wine cups high as quickly as possible to see the god out. Then the officiant burns the Mazhang Stick together with golden and silver ''Taiding'' in the courtyard. He cuts the tongues from the chicken and goose then throws them on to the roof of the house at the same time and praying to the god to take away the tongues which symbolize possible calamities emanating from the spoken word. Finally, the officiant put a cup of wine with tea onto the ashes of Mazhang Stick signifying the end of ''Zhufu''. Ancestor worship follows the ceremony and, although similar to Zhufu, differences do exist. After worship, the family sits down at tables and eat ''Fuli'' together, which they call ''Sanfu'' or sharing the blessings. As a featured folk custom, Zhufu has been handed down and well protected as part of Shaoxing's cultural heritage. It is reputable because of its special origin. It was widely popularized by
Lu Xun Zhou Shuren (25 September 1881 – 19 October 1936), better known by his pen name Lu Xun (or Lu Sun, Wade–Giles: Lu Hsün), was a Chinese writer, essayist, poet, and literary critic. He was a leading figure of modern Chinese literature. Writ ...
(1881-1936, Shaoxing-born) in his short story ' (), which he named after the sacrificial ceremony. Whilst deeply moved by the ill-fated leading character of the novel, readers get to learn the details of the ''Zhufu'' tradition.


Notable people

*
Yu the Great Yu the Great (大禹) was a legendary king in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was me ...
~ 2123 – 2025 BC, a legendary ruler in ancient China who was famed for his introduction of flood control, his establishment of the Xia dynasty which inaugurated dynastic rule in China, and his upright moral character. Died and buried in Shaoxing. * Gou Jian ~520BC-465BC, King of Yue Kingdom. *
Fan Li Fan Li () from the Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from th ...
536-448BC, Politician, Philosopher, Military theorist, and Economist, helped King Yue conquer Wu. *
Xi Shi Xi Shi (Hsi Shih; , ) was, according to legends, one of the renowned Four Beauties of ancient China. She was said to have lived during the end of the Spring and Autumn period in Zhuji, the capital of the ancient State of Yue. In traditional st ...
506 BC–?, one of the
Four Beauties The Four Beauties or Four Great Beauties are four Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencie ...

Four Beauties
of ancient China, who was born and lived in Zhuji county, Shaoxing. *
Wang Xizhi Wang Xizhi (; ; 303 AD361 AD) was a Chinese calligrapher, politician, general and writer during the Jin Dynasty (266–420), Jin dynasty. He was best known for his mastery of Chinese calligraphy. Wang is sometimes regarded as the greatest Chines ...

Wang Xizhi
, 303–361, one of the most famous calligrapher, lived in Shaoxing. *
Lu You Lu You (; 1125–1209) was a Chinese historian and poet A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to a ...
, 1125–1209, poet and literati of the Southern
Song A song is a musical composition Musical composition can refer to an piece or work of , either or , the of a musical piece or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music. People who create new compositions are called s ...
period, who famously encountered his former wife in Shen Garden. *
Xu Wei Xu Wei (, 1521–1593), other department Qingteng Shanren (), was a Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ...
, 1521–1593,
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming dynasty
painter, born in Shaoxing. * Wang Shouren, 1472–1529, Ming dynasty politician and scholar. * Liu Zongzhou 1578–1645, also known as Jishan, Ming Dynasty, later Ming politician and scholar, born in Shaoxing. * Zhang Dai, 1597–1684, essayist and historian of the later Ming period, born in Shaoxing. *
Cai Yuanpei Cai Yuanpei (; 11 January 1868 – 5 March 1940) was a Chinese philosopher and politician as well as an influential educationalist in the history of Chinese modern education. He made contributions to education reform with his own education ideol ...

Cai Yuanpei
, 1868–1940, educator and thinker, born in Shaoxing. *
Qiu Jin Qiu Jin (; 8 November 1875 – 15 July 1907) was a Chinese revolutionary, feminist, and writer. Her courtesy names are Xuanqing () and Jingxiong (). Her Art name, sobriquet name is Jianhu Nüxia () which, when translated literally into English, ...

Qiu Jin
, 1875–1907, feminist republican revolutionary, raised in Shaoxing. *
Lu Xun Zhou Shuren (25 September 1881 – 19 October 1936), better known by his pen name Lu Xun (or Lu Sun, Wade–Giles: Lu Hsün), was a Chinese writer, essayist, poet, and literary critic. He was a leading figure of modern Chinese literature. Writ ...
, (aka Zhou Shuren) 1881–1936, writer, leading figure of modern Chinese literature, born in Shaoxing. * Ma Yinchu, 1882–1982, educator and economist, born in Shengzhou, Shaoxing. * Chen Yi (Kuomintang), Chen Yi, 1883–1950, Kuomintang soldier and politician, born in Dongpuzhen (), Shaoxing. * Zhou Zuoren, 1885–1967, essayist and translator, brother of Lu Xun, born in Shaoxing. * Chu Kochen, 1890–1974, meteorologists, geographers and educators, born in Shaoxing *
Zhou Enlai Zhou Enlai (; 5 March 1898 – 8 January 1976) was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China The premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, abbreviated to Premier, sometimes also referred to informally as ...

Zhou Enlai
, 1898–1976, first Premier of the People's Republic of China, family ancestral roots in Shaoxing * Wong Tin Lam, 1927–2010, Hong Kong screenwriter, producer, director, and actor, father of Wong Jing. * Zhou Quan, 1987–, film director and producer. * Tong Jinquan, 1954–, real estate billionaire


See also

* Jiangnan * Shaoxing Metro


References


External links


Shaoxing air quality index reports
{{Authority control Shaoxing, Cities in Zhejiang Prefecture-level divisions of Zhejiang Yangtze River Delta