Various Cultural and Customs in Guangdong Province of China
Guangdong is the center of Lingnan Culture. Due to its unique geographical location and opening-up history, Beiyue Culture, Central Plain Culture and Western Culture were intermingled with each other here, forming the distinctive Lingnan Culture.
Lingnan painting school, Lingnan architecture, Lingnan miniascape and Lingnan craftworks are
well-known at home and abroad, especially its ivory carving, jade carving, wood carving, Guangzhou decorative porcelain and Guang embroidery (“three carvings, one porcelain and one embroidery”). These craftworks well-known throughout the world since Qing Dynasty are still major local products exported abroad. For example, “Lingnan Jingxiu”, a piece of silk embroidery of over 13 meters long, is the longest silk embroidery of birds and flowers
in Guang embroidery history; “Peacock”, a 16cmhigh vase with exquisite and unique patterns whose craftwork is 5 times higher than that of a 60cm-high vase, is a rare treasure in Chinese ceramics.
There are rich and colorful Lingnan folk arts and customs. Lingnan folk arts mainly include Foshan wood engraving picture, paper-cut and lantern etc.; folk art performances include dragon and lion dance and big-headed Buddha etc.; distinctive traditional local foods include Guihuajiu (wine fermented with osmanthus flowers) and rice cake etc. There are also various interesting activities. For example, people will make New Year’s vows under the lucky tree
when the first bell is sounded on New Year’s Eve.
Various performance arts with unique features, which are represented by Yue Opera, are available in Guangdong. Among all local operas in China, Yue Opera is the first to give performances and seek development abroad. Centering on Guangzhou, Yue Opera is not only popular in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, Guangxi and Yunnan but also widely spread to Southeast Asia, Europe and America. Thanks to its open and compatible cultural atmosphere, Guangdong has cultivated and brought together a number of cultural celebrities, such as famous Yue Opera artist Hung Sin Nui etc., experts, writers and artists, who have actively promoted the innovation and development of Lingnan Culture in different fields during different periods, endowing Cantonese Culture with strong local characteristics.
Cantonese dietary culture is well-known all over the world. Cantonese Cuisine stresses abundant use of various ingredients and cooking techniques to reflect combination of time characteristics with natural environment. Tea-drinking is also one of the well-known customs for Cantonese. They have the habits of drinking "Morning Tea" and “Afternoon Tea”. There are various Cantonese herbal teas, such as Wanglaoji, Xiasangju, Dashenggong, Twenty-Four Tastes Tea, Shiqi, Shanhutang, Huangzhenlong, Tadehagi triquetrum, health tea and balsam pear tea etc.
There are still other intoxicating Lingnan cultural customs, such as Guangzhou’s tea houses and New Year’s Eve flower street, Panyu’s Shawan Piaose, Zengcheng’s Mache Huogou, Chao-Shan’s Gongfu Tea and Kejia folk song of Meizhou.
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