Take a Chinese New Year painting home at Yangliuqing

08:36, January 20, 2011      

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Shijiadayuan Courtyard at Yangliuqing Town, Tianjin City [Photo: likefar.com]

Yangliuqing paintings [Photo: likefar.com]

The Chinese Lunar New Year is around the corner, and if you are in Beijing and will not join the migrant wave to go home, there is a relaxing and interesting place to go. In Beijing's neighbor Tianjin city, there is a historic town imbued with enchanting traditional Chinese culture. Its name is Yangliuqing.

Before we started, my mind is preoccupied with the classic image of flourishing poplar and willow, black tile and white walls veiled in drizzling rain, just like a Chinese water-and-ink painting, as the name, Yangliuqing, implies.

As a historic town with thousands of years of culture and legacy, Yangliuqing used to bloom with various folk arts and crafts. It's famous for Yangliuqing painting of the Lunar New Year, kites, paper cutting, as well as brick and stone sculptures.

There were three great treasures at Yangliuqing, the theater, the Memorial Archway and Wenchangge Pavilion. Nowadays, only Wenchangge still exists.

Additionally, ancient pagodas and temples, along with relics are worth visiting.

It is said that where there are Chinese people, there are Chinese Lunar New Year paintings, and so is Yangliuqing. The famous folk wood carving painting was first born in the 17th century, when local residents reposed their hopes for a better life on knives, wood plates and painting in the turbulent society. The early paintings gradually formed their own characters with an auspicious festive tone.

At the town, some stores sell these paintings to just a few customers, showing that tradition is not essential for modern life. The golden age of Yangliuqing has gone, only the paintings depicting those glorious times still shine as it was.

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