[Provincial Capitals' Practice of the Ten Strategies] "The Mountain, River, Ancestor and Kingdom" Nurture Cultural Zhengzhou

The Ancestor Worship Ceremony at Yellow Emperor's Birthplace in the Renyin Year of the Tiger (2022) is about to kick off; the 9th MPT-EXPO is about to meet guests from all over the world; the China Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Annual Conference is about to be held... Zhengzhou, the host city of all these events, will once again tell the world the important proposition of "What is Zhengzhou".

What is Zhengzhou? Different people may have different answers to this question.

It is a bright pearl on the riverside of the onrushing Yellow River. It is the place where we found the bronze tripods with a history of about 3,600 years, the hometown of the Yellow Emperor, who was the ancestor of Chinese people, and the home to the historical site of the "Ancient Heluo Kingdom" where we discovered the exquisite bone silkworm carving that dates back to more than 5,000 years ago. These highly recognizable marks of Zhengzhou converge into four independent, complete and harmonious themes of "the mountain, river, ancestor and kingdom", which makes people deeply feel the confidence of and be shocked by Zhengzhou's cultural declaration.

Mount Song, the Origin of Civilization

Mount Song, like a man of iron who created the world, witnessed the vicissitudes of the earth, and like a loving father, fostered and led the birth of civilization in the Songshan area.

Because of its ancient and rich experience, Mount Song is called the "Natural Geology Museum with Geological Layers of Five Geologic Periods" by geologists and "Rolls of Books about the Earth" by geology enthusiasts. The assertion that "the Songshan area, as the core area of the origin of Chinese civilization, plays an important role in the origin and formation of Chinese civilization" has formed an extensive consensus.

As early as when human beings entered the Paleolithic Age, they chose to live in the area around Mount Song. Since the middle and late Paleolithic Age, an accelerated development trend had been shown, and the area became one of the most densely distributed areas of middle and late Paleolithic culture in China. The Miaodigou-type culture developed vigorously and spread widely in the mid-Yangshao period, which laid the foundation for the formation of a unified Chinese civilization in later days... During the thousands of years from Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties to the Northern Song Dynasty, the area around Mount Song was the political, economic and cultural center of these dynasties.

As a result, Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism gathered harmoniously in Mount Song, "The Centre of Heaven and Earth" historical building complex successfully declared a world cultural heritage site, and the Songyang Academy is still filled with the sound of reading...

Songshan civilization has at least five unique and excellent cultural characteristics, including "rich cultural diversity, broad cultural inclusiveness, extensive cultural adaptability, tenacious cultural development vitality and strong cultural cohesion".

The Yellow River, a Magnificent Epic

If Mount Song has offered the initial hotbed of Chinese civilization with its antiquity and solemnity as an earth witness, the Yellow River, which stretches for thousands of miles, has provided the richest nutrition for the origin of Chinese civilization and the shaping of national spirit.

The existence of human beings and the development of civilization are closely related to rivers. In the case of the Yellow River, the Loess Plateau and alluvial plain washed out by it in the middle and lower reaches have the largest area.

Mr. Yan Wenming, a senior professor at Peking University and a member of the expert group of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, pointed out that the "double flower" model formed by Chinese civilization has far-reaching influence, and the "flower heart" is located in the Central Plains in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, which is the center of Chinese culture: "The geographical location of the Central Plains enables it to absorb the advantages of various local cultures and also have an impact on various cultures."

Beautiful poems that passed down through the years interpret the spiritual connotation of the Yellow River, which is extensive and inclusive, pioneering and enterprising, and constantly striving for self-improvement.

Zhengzhou is one of the cities with the highest correlation with the Yellow River in history. Zhengzhou is the capital of Henan Province, a populous province in China, and the city has a population of over 10 million. It is also an important railway, highway and air transportation hub and a national central city. "The Yellow River has nurtured the splendid culture in Zhengzhou, and the brilliant Yellow River civilization is also inseparable from Zhengzhou. The development of the Yellow River culture and the rise of the Central Plains cannot be separated from Zhengzhou."

The Yellow Emperor, the Ancestor of Chinese Nation

"Henan has gradually been pushed to the peak of glory and even directly laid the foundation of Chinese civilization." Yellow Emperor, the ancestor of Chinese civilization born in Xinzheng, is undoubtedly part of this "foundation".

The main areas of the Yellow Emperor's activities are located in the Central Plains with Zhengzhou as the center. Zhengzhou is the birthplace and capital city of the Yellow Emperor, and the birthplace of the Yellow Emperor's clan is in the Central Plains region with Xinzheng as the center.

Since the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, Chinese descendants have held a ceremony to worship their ancestor, Yellow Emperor, at Xuanyuan Hill, the hometown of the Yellow Emperor, on the third day of the third month of the lunar calendar for his great achievements. In 2008, the State Council identified the Ancestor Worship Ceremony at Yellow Emperor's Birthplace Xinzheng as the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage expansion projects. In 2021, an "online platform for worshipping ancestors and praying for blessings" was set up for the first time, which provided an immersive experience for global Chinese to worship ancestors and pray for blessings in cyberspace. More than 2 billion people worldwide pushed, clicked and viewed the webpage of the platform. The Yellow Emperor, the ancestor of Chinese people, is like a spiritual beacon, and his influence and cohesion on Chinese people all over the world can be seen.

The Ancient Heluo Kingdom, the Embryo of Civilization

As a giant settlement site in the middle and late stage of Yangshao culture around 5,300 years ago, the Shuanghuaishu site, known as the "Ancient Heluo Kingdom", is called "the embryo of early Chinese civilization" by experts. It is the central settlement with the highest specification and the nature of a metropolis discovered so far in the early stage of the formation of Chinese civilization in the Yellow River Basin.

Mount Song, the Yellow River, the Yellow Emperor and the Ancient Heluo Kingdom are closely connected with each other in Zhengzhou, jointly depicting the splendid culture of early China and writing the brilliant chapter of early China.

"The proposal of the concept 'the mountain, river, ancestor and kingdom' has its inherent profound logic and ties. It is a valuable cultural resource in Zhengzhou and a cultural business card that can make everyone in Zhengzhou proud. It will exert a more lasting and powerful spiritual strength in the present and future!"

Copyright by Zhengzhou Municipal Tourism Administration