Foshan China 2017-06-07
Fengjian Village is an ancient village located in Shunde with three main surname clans, Liang, Liu and Li. Villagers from each surname clan live along the river but separated by water flows. With the increasing population of each surname clan and marriages with other surname clans, the surname clans in Fengjian started to increase, while each respectively built up their own ancestral halls to mourn the ancestors. So far there are about 20 ancestral halls in Fengjian.
As a Lingnan waterside country with profound history, Fengjian has favorable environment and weather conditions. Since Xihan (BC 202 to AD 8) period, there were people who had begun to live here. Now Fengjian covers 5.2 square kilometers with a population of 6,000. The village is surrounded by water all sides, a typical “bridge and water” residential zone. The total length of rivers here is 23.8 kilometers and there are more than 2.6 square kilometers of fish ponds. Loads of historical sites and items are well-kept in the village, such as ancient bridges, ancient temples, ancient ancestral halls, ancient houses and ancients trees. Besides, well-known gourmet also gathers in Fengjian, including hand-grounded sesame paste, double layer milk, steamed pig and etc.
Foshan listed Fengjian Village as Foshan’s key tourism resource project in 2005 and it became one of the new ten scenery in Shunde. In 2013, Fengjian Village was awarded the model award of "Discover 2013 China’s Most Beautiful Village", as the only village that attained this award in South China area. In 2015, Fengjing Village received the approval of AAA National Tourist Attraction.
An Osmanthus tree presented by the emperor
During the period of Emperor Tongzhi in Qing Dynasty (1862-1874), Li Changming from Fengjian passed the imperial examinations at the provincial level and locally became a Juren (举人). After being a government official for three decades, he put forward the ask of retirement to the emperor. At that time the emperor was Guangxu and he presented a precious osmanthus tree to Li Changming because of Li’s outstanding work. Li then went back to Fengjian and also brought this precious tree back to the village.
During anti-Japanese war (1937-1945), Li Changming’s family was in straitened circumstances and the house was also destroyed. This osmanthus tree was discarded among the fields and weeds. Afterwards, someone who knew about the story of this precious tree dug the tree out and sold to a wealthy businessman in Leliu (a place in Shunde). Finally, this wealthy businessman sold the tree back to Fengjian Village.
Now visitors can see the osmanthus tree that was presented by the emperor just in the average people’s house.
There are lots of Kuan-Yin celebration days in Shunde, such as the birthday of Kuan-Yin (the nineteenth day of the second lunar month), the Kuan-Yin enlightenment day (the nineteenth day of the sixth lunar month) and etc. The most lively day is supposed to be Kuan-Yin enlightenment day when people flock to the temple to mourn and pray and draw divination sticks. There also will be various activities held on that day, including “Chuhui”(出会) parade and people conducting a religious rite and decorating offerings to Kuan-Yin.
Eat “dragon boat meal” and drink “dragon boat water”
The Dragon Boat Festival in Fengjian is always lively. Dragon boat racing is one of the crucial parts on that day. After the racing, the members of dragon boat teams will gather together in the ancestral hall to eat “dragon boat meal”. In recent years, “dragon boat meal” has developed as a feast of hundreds of people. Beside villagers and relatives, the participants also include visitors. In addition, people will wash with “dragon boat water”, because “dragon boat water” can exorcise evil spirits in tradition.