Chonqing, China

History & Culture

Chongqing is a famous city with a long history and a brilliant culture. There are many ancient ruins, ancient tombs, ancient buildings, grottoes, and temples, and tens of thousands of collections of cultural relics.

The Chongqing Museum has nearly 500 National Grade 1 relics and 100,000 National Grade 3 relics. The Chongqing Museum of Natural History leads China with its collection of 100,000 specimens of rare plants and animals including fossils of vertebrate animals such as 24 kinds of dinosaurs from the Jurassic period.

Bayu Culture is one of the special ethnic cultures along the upper reaches of Yangtze River. The origin of Bayu Culture came from Ba culture. Ba people lived and fought in the mountains and river valleys. Living in this tough environment these people developed a tenacious character for which they are famous even today.

Ancient Ba people were good at singing and dancing and many of their dances developed while they were fighting battles.  Gradually this kind of dance became  popular in the court of the Emperors and until the Han dynasty, Bayu dance was one of the required court dances at banquets. It was group dancing which was rough and vigorous and changed continuously.

Along the Yangtze River from Chongqing to Wushan, the river is often narrow with many reefs and dangerous shoals. In those days, boats could only be pushed or pulled upriver through the rapids and currents. It was very hard work with from 10 to 100 men tracking the boats as they strained against the currents. As they strained they sang in rhythm with their movements which developed into the ‘working song’ called ‘Haozi’ lead by the leading tracker.

The Daxi Culture in eastern Chongqing and the Tongliang Culture in western Chongqing are representative cultures of the Old Stone Age and the New Stone Age in central and west China. The fossils and stone articles of the Wushan Ape Man of more than 2 million years ago, unearthed from the ruins of Longgupo in Wushan, are of great value for the study of the origins of mankind.

Chongqing has many folk arts well-known to the world.The top 10 folk arts are Dragon dance of Tongliang, Dazu’s carved stone, Qiang’s hands winding dance, boatman’s song, Xiushan’s festive lantern, Jiulong two pairs, Xiaohe gong and drum.

Most people there are straightforward, enthusiastic, humorous and generous. Those elders in Chongqing are likely to watch the Sichuan opera. With numerous of sports facilities and parks, the major activities in Chongqing are sports and recreation. Women in Chongqing like to gather and exercise the yangko dance on the open ground around town. This has turned out to be an interesting street scene in Chongqing.

Tea houses of various styles can be seen everywhere in Chongqing. It is one of the best place for people get together, dating or just to relax after work.

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