"Clear water, vast thunder, Fuxi opened up, and brought glory to all generations. It faces the Central Plains in the west, leads the ancient fortune in the east, supports Beijing and Tianjin in the north, and looks to the Jianghuai River in the south. It is located in the southwest of Shandong, holding hands with Su, Henan, and Anhui. Gulianji The water now flows along the Yellow River."

  A poem "Ode to Heze" narrates the long history and special location of Heze, the "Peony Capital of China".

  It has both breathtakingly beautiful scenery and a long history and culture.

It is the "hometown of peony" that is graceful and luxurious, and it is also the "hometown of martial arts" that is chivalrous and courageous.

  Above: Photographed by Zhou Yong in "The Beauty of Heavenly Fragrance"

  Below: Water Margin in Seoul.

Photo courtesy of Heze Municipal Party Committee Propaganda Department

Enjoy the lively New Year customs and enjoy the authentic "Heze Year"

  Heze is located in the southwest of Shandong Province, at the junction of the four provinces of Shandong, Henan, Jiangsu, and Anhui. The intersection of multiple cultures has given birth to Heze's brilliant humanities and rich history. The Spring Festival customs here are full of variety.

  Heze city scenery.

Photo by Xu Xiangdong

“Kneading flower baskets” ignites the New Year atmosphere

  In Juye County, Heze City, Shandong Province, there is a folk performance that has been around for more than 500 years - "Routing the Flower Basket". On the 13th day of the first lunar month this year, this traditional fireworks display once again made its stunning debut.

  As the name suggests, the "Kneading Flower Basket" is made by smashing an old iron pot that has been used for decades into pieces the size of sorghum grains, adding flints, wrapping them in paper and pasting them with raw copper coins, using charcoal as a fuse, lighting them and shaking them slowly. , four people worked together to shake at high speed for two minutes.

  The sparks generated bounce off the stone wall, creating a visual effect of fire filling the sky, like a flying fire dragon, creating a strong festive atmosphere.

  "Kneading Flower Basket" performance.

Photo courtesy of Juye County Integrated Media Center

Classic opera plays a new chapter to welcome the new year

  There is a saying in Shandong opera circles that "no opera can be made without music." Yuncheng County, Heze City is the birthplace of Shandong Zaobang Opera and the birthplace of Liuzi Opera, one of the four ancient opera types in the country. It is also the most popular opera type in southwestern Shandong, Shandong Bangzi and Liangzi Opera. The birthplace of Jiaxian, famous figures in modern opera circles such as Ren Xincai and Liu Guisong have emerged.

  Night view of Heze Grand Theater.

Photo by Wang Yanhua

  The "Yuncheng County Opera Performance Month to Welcome the New Year" was launched on the 12th day of the twelfth lunar month at the South Gate Square of the Hancheng Scenic Spot in Water Margin. Six types of operas brought by the Yuncheng County Shandong Bangzi Theater Troupe and 16 local private theater groups were staged in turn, bringing the public A feast of opera art.

  Performance by Shandong Bangzi Troupe of Yuncheng County.

Photo courtesy of Yuncheng County Party Committee Propaganda Department

Pray for blessings and celebrate the New Year during the Zhangwan Fire God Festival

  Holding the Vulcan Festival on the seventh day of the first lunar month to celebrate the birthday of the "Vulcan God" is a long-standing custom in Zhangwan Town, Dingtao District, Heze City, with a history of more than 1,000 years.

  The grandness of the Vulcan Festival celebration is second only to the Spring Festival and the Lantern Festival.

On this day, all local people have to get up early and go to the Fire Temple to set off firecrackers, burn incense and pray for blessings.

  Zhangwan Fire God Festival.

Photo courtesy of the Propaganda Department of Dingtao District Committee

  This year's Zhangwan Fire God Festival is held on the seventh day of the first lunar month. The activities focus on folk activities such as drama, folk arts, martial arts, Yangko, and bamboo horses, fully demonstrating the cultural atmosphere of Heze's rural alleys.

Second visit to the Yellow River Fair to look for the smell of fireworks in the world

  As the first city where the Yellow River flows into Shandong, the Yellow River has a total length of 185 kilometers in Heze, flowing through the four counties of Dongming, Mudan District, Juancheng and Yuncheng. The Yellow River culture has nourished this fertile soil.

  During the Chinese New Year, attending a "Yellow River Fair" on the banks of the Yellow River is a ritual not to be missed during the Chinese New Year in Heze.

It is said that no one can walk out of the "Yellow River Fair" empty-handed.

  Above: The first bend of the Yellow River entering Shandong.

Photo by Zhang Guoqing

  Below: Scenery of the Yellow River.

Photo by Zhang Guoqing

  Freshly baked sugar cakes, piping hot mutton soup, browned and crispy sesame cakes... Walking into the "Yellow River Fair" will give you the urge to "eat to your heart's content" every minute.

  Familiar cries, familiar fragrances, Daji is the place with the strongest smoke and fire in Heze. It contains firewood, rice, oil, salt, food and clothing, which often evokes emotional resonance deep in people's hearts.

  Above: People taste mung bean noodle balls at the Yellow River Fair.

Photo courtesy of Juye County Integrated Media Center

  Pictured below: People visit the Yellow River Fair.

Photo by Xie Li, Propaganda Department of Shanxian County Party Committee

  This year, all counties and districts in Heze served their own "special dishes" for the "Yellow River Fair".

Daji in Datian Market Town in Chengwu County, Jinshan Temple Fair in Juye County, Sanchun Han Temple Market in Dongming County, Centenary Market in Zhangshidian, Luxi New District, Heze, and Jishan Town Market in Juancheng County are all with strong local characteristics. Large gathering in southwestern Shandong Province.

  But when you are so attracted by the delicacies at Huanghe Daji that you can’t even walk away, the cultural atmosphere at the Daji will make you unable to take your eyes away.

  Intangible cultural heritage creations in the Yellow River Collection.

Photo courtesy of the Propaganda Department of Mudan District Committee

  The 2024 Spring Festival Shandong Rural Culture Tourism Festival and the "New Year's Taste·Heze Intangible Cultural Heritage Market" series of activities will be launched from February 2 (the 23rd of the twelfth lunar month) to February 9 (the 30th of the twelfth lunar month). Literary performances such as operas and songs presented a splendid visual feast to citizens and tourists.

  "Dancing in Red Sleeves" photo by Yan Chenglei

  Product displays such as Xiangyun Lu Brocade and Flowering Peonies allow citizens and tourists to feel the profound cultural heritage of Heze. As the Spring Festival approaches, the flowering peonies in the Heze Peony District are in bud. There is an endless stream of citizens and tourists coming to choose flowers. The flowers with Heze's local characteristics Local customs, culture and art are presented in front of people's eyes in a three-dimensional way. No one is not moved by the warm local sentiments of the "Yellow River Fair". The "old taste" of the thousand-year-old markets is colliding with modern Heze.

Wear Chinese-style Hanfu three times to celebrate “Chinese Year”

  In recent years, with the craze of national style, more and more consumers have identified the "Spring Festival shirt" as a new Chinese style clothing. Riding on the east wind of traditional culture, Hanfu has frequently "out of the circle".

Hanfu produced in Heze is popular in the Spring Festival market.

  Pictured on the left: Hanfu in Caoxian County.

Photo courtesy of Cao County Party Committee Propaganda Department

  Picture on the right: Caoxian Hanfu original design style.

Photo courtesy of Cao County Party Committee Propaganda Department

  On January 18, at the launch ceremony of the 2024 Spring Festival Shandong Rural Culture Tourism Festival in Heze, volunteers dressed in Hanfu and horse-faced skirts became the most beautiful scenery at the scene. Many volunteers wore various Hanfu, showing off a unique Oriental These well-made Hanfu and horse-faced skirts with rich cultural heritage are all produced in Cao County, Heze, the "center of the universe".

  Currently, there are 2,282 Hanfu companies in Cao County, including 1,578 original Hanfu processing companies, forming a complete "Hanfu ecosystem" integrating original research and development, design and production, auxiliary materials, experiential displays, and online marketing.

  The Spring Festival has added fuel to the sales of Hanfu in Caoxian County. New Year's greetings clothes, horse-faced skirts and other clothing are selling hotly on online platforms, and demand exceeds supply.

  Sales of New Year's greeting clothes in Cao County are booming.

Photo provided by the Propaganda Department of Cao County Party Committee.

  It is understood that this year, the sales of New Year's Eve clothing, mainly horse-faced skirts, in Caoxian County have exceeded 300 million yuan.

Four kinds of authentic food to realize the taste of the world

  Surrounded by the strong flavor of the New Year, local specialties can be said to be the best prelude to the New Year. The New Year in memory is composed of various delicacies. It is also our simplest and warmest memory of the New Year. So you can celebrate the New Year in Heze What authentic flavors can you taste?

Peony feast

  As the "Peony Capital of China", Heze has been known as "Caozhou's best peony in the world" since ancient times.

The beautiful peonies here are not only beautiful scenery, but also delicious food.

  The peony banquet made with peony petals, pollen, stamens, peony roots and other raw materials is not only beautiful in appearance, but also pays attention to cooking techniques and nutritional combinations.

The process of tasting delicious food is also being influenced by peony culture.

  Peony feast.

Photo courtesy of Heze Municipal Party Committee Propaganda Department

Water Margin Banquet

  Speaking of Heze, we have to mention the Water Margin hero culture. There is also a banquet in Heze that is famous for the Water Margin, known as the "Water Margin Banquet".

  Each dish in "Water Margin Banquet" is based on the storyline in "Water Margin", combined with the life stories of the 108 generals in Water Margin and the delicacies involved in "Water Margin", such as King Chao Gai Chicken, Wusong beef, Zhishen dog meat, Zhujia Xiaoxiao chicken, Xinghuacun roasted whole lamb, etc.

  Water Margin Feast.

Photo courtesy of Yuncheng County Party Committee Propaganda Department

Shanxian mutton soup

  Mutton soup permeates the people of Heze all year round, and Shanxian mutton soup has a unique style of "white as milk, blend of water and fat, pure texture, fresh but not smelly, fragrant but not greasy, rotten but not sticky", loading Famous Chinese recipes.

  Shanxian mutton soup is rich in color, rich in nutrients, and has the effects of replenishing qi, appetizing and strengthening the body.

After the mutton is cooked in a large pot, sprinkle with a handful of coriander and take one bite. A wonderful feeling fills your lips and teeth. This aroma is so wonderful!

  Shanxian mutton soup.

Photo courtesy of Heze Municipal Party Committee Propaganda Department

Heze fried buns

  Heze pan-fried buns can be found all over the city of Heze and are one of the famous delicacies in southwestern Shandong. They are oblate in shape, golden in color from top to bottom, crispy on the outside and fresh on the inside, and have a great taste.

According to the different fillings, fried buns can be divided into "beef fried buns", "pork fried buns", etc.

  It is a bun made of fermented noodles. It is placed flat in a pan that has been brushed with oil. It is made by using water as the main ingredient and half frying and half steaming. When it is cooked, pour in finely ground sesame oil and put it on the bottom of the pot. It forms a thin layer of golden-yellow dough that is crispy and delicious.

  Heze fried buns.

Image source: Heze City Culture and Tourism Bureau

  Taste the taste of the world and taste the charm of Heze.

The airport and high-speed rail have made it possible to travel back and forth "one day at a time". Leave your vacation to Heze, and Heze will definitely live up to your time!

  Heze Mudan Airport, Heze High-speed Railway.

Photo courtesy of Heze Municipal Party Committee Propaganda Department

  Author: Li Mingrui