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hroughout the world, with a history of more than 2,000 years. In 2006, the traditional festival was listed as part of China’s
national intangible cultural heritage. In 2008, it was recognized as a public holiday in the Chinese mainland.
The Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a Chu state
official and poet who lived during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) before the reu
nification of China under the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). He was exiled after opposing his king’s decision to ally wit
h the neighboring state of Qin, and when Chu was finally conquered by Qin, he
committed suicide by drowning in the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.
The Chu people, who admired Qu Yuan for his loyalty and integrity, th
rew rice dumplings into the river to feed the fish so they would not eat the body of their po
et hero. People then started dragon boat racing to scare off the fish.
Since then, the fifth day of the fifth month on the lunar calendar is cel
brated as the Dragon Boat Festival. The following are some customs for the festival.
The Central Conservatory of Music will hold a festival from May 23 to 27 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of The Yellow River Cantata.
Written by composer Xian Xinghai (1905–1945) in Yan’an, Shaanxi pro
vince, in early 1939, the piece was inspired by a patriotic poem by Guang Weiran, and the lyrics
were adapted for the cantata. Premiered on April 13 of the same year in Yan’an, the work became, and remains, popular.
The conservatory’s symphony orchestra, choirs and chamber music grou
ps will join in the festival with 20 concerts, including the opening concert on May 23 condu
cted by Yu Feng, president of the university. The Yellow River Cantata will be performed by young singers.
Veteran Chinese musicians and singers, including Guo Shuzhen and Wang Xiufen, will perform during the festival.
Besides concerts, masterclasses and forums will be held in Yan’an.
The music festival will also celebrate the 70th birthday of the country.
ures are consistent with the top-line measured GDP growth number. For example, production and
supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water increased by 7.1 percent in the quarter. Pl
us, value-added index of transport, storage and post increased by 7.3 percent.
A closer look at the highest growth sectors shows that the economy is moving toward the long-term goal of shif
ting away from a development strategy based on heavy investment in industry and
infrastructure to one based on services and domestic consumption. Also, more productive industries that tur
n out higher-value added goods are growing at a much faster rate than traditional heavy industry.
Among large companies, State-owned enterprises grew 4.5 percent yea
r-on-year while shareholding enterprises grew almost twice as fast, at 7.8 percent. So, stro
ng progress is being made toward the goal of promoting private enterprise, which was re
inforced by many policies announced at last month’s meeting of the National People’s Congress.
mitable spirit of the Chinese people and their attachment to the homeland. The audienc
e will also feel the profound historical friendship between the Chinese and Kazakh people,” s
ays Wang Zhi, deputy secretary-general of the festival’s organizing committee.
Jonathan Shen, the producer of The Composer, reveals that the crew spent five months shooting scenes in China, Russ
ia and Kazakhstan, and how the team used many special effects to re-create the wartime sequences.
Saturday, the festival’s opening day, marks the 80th anniversary of the debut performance of Yellow River
Cantata in Yan’an, the headquarters of the Red Army after the Long March which lasted from 1934 to 1936.
“We hope the film will comfort the soul of Xian,” says Shen, who is also the founder and CEO of Beijing-based Shinework Pictures.
Shen says he hopes The Composer, which was jointly financed by Kazakhst
an, will become a commercial success and encourage more foreign studios to produ
ce films with China. The film is scheduled to go on general release in China and Kazakhstan in May.