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Jiande Xinye Ancient Village,a Repository of Folk Architecture and Custom

 

Situated in Daciyan Town(大慈岩镇), Jiande County, Xinye Ancient Village(新叶村) is a dubbed as “China’s largest open-air museum of Ming and Qing-era Folk Residences” and a sparkling gem engraved on the face of eternity. Built during the illustrious Southern Song Dynasty in the year of 1219, this weathered retreat lures for its over 200 well-preserved civil residences, 16 exquisite ancestral halls, timeworn pagodas as well as archaic ancestral worship ceremony which is still vibrant and arresting.

 

jiande xinye ancient village
 



Featuring white-washed walls, black-tiled roofs, crisscrossing laneways, splendid ancestral halls, majestic pagodas, imposing gables as well as unmatched wooden and stone sculptures, Xinye Ancient Village echoes that of Xidi and Hongcun (a UNESCO heritage site in Anhui province) in appearance, while its layout embracing the ancient philosophy: “man and nature co-exist harmoniously”, are highly symbolic in geomancy. A visit to this unspoiled rustic retreat will reveal its timeless glory, splendor and innermost secrets to you, slowly and gracefully.

 

jiande xinye ancient village
 



A semi-circular pond forms the centerpiece of this village, while an astounding number of ancestral halls dispersed haphazardly across this village, stand out as hives of activities and spiritual sanctuaries. Among its treasure groves of ancestral halls mirroring the prevalent and deep-rooted indigenous faith: ancestral worship, Xishan Ancestral Hall(西山祠堂) hailing from Yuan Dynasty(1271-1368), is the most ancient, while Chongren Ancestral Hall(崇仁堂) dwarfs and outshines the rest, is the most magnificent, spacious and gorgeous.

 

jiande xinye ancient village
 



Xinye Ancient Village is also characterized by a maze of over a hundred laneways varying in width from 80cm to 3m. Along them, tiered fortress-like folk residences with enclosed courtyards spread out rhythmically. Separated by soaring garbles as independent unites and connected as a whole by a network of alleys, Xinye Village promises not only a lavish visual banquet, but also an enlightening cultural adventure.

 

jiande xinye ancient village
 



Here, the agrarian and family-clan culture find the fullest expression. Obeying the millennia-old lifestyle of “plowing the fields in daytime and reading during spare time”, locals put education as a top priority. The splendid Tuanyun Pagoda(抟云塔) near the entry of this village and the magnificent Wenchang Pavilion(文昌阁) were constructed, with the hope of stimulating talented poets and scholars. Ironically, all their aspiration and devotion went in vain. A repository of folk architecture and custom it is, Xinye Ancient Village is anything but a cradle of men of letters.

Ancestral Worship Ceremony

The beauty of Xinye Ancient Village can be appreciated all year around, however, if you want to immerse into local culture, Ancestral Worship Ceremony occurring in the third day of the third lunar month, is something you do not want to miss. Featuring dazzling activities and carnival atmosphere, Ancestral Worship Ceremony offers an insightful glimpse into this secluded oriental kingdom. It is a traditional event with significance second to none, even China Spring Festival. By joining their parade, dragon dance, Buddha and ancestor worship, opera show and trade, you can touch the pulse of this village, and its enduring cultural legacy which has long already gone distinct elsewhere.

 

 

jiande xinye ancient village
 
jiande xinye ancient village
 
jiande xinye ancient village
 
jiande xinye ancient village
 
jiande xinye ancient village
 

 
 
Posted by Sophia on August 6, 2013
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