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Dujiangyan Water-releasing Festival

Listed under Festivals in Chengdu, China.

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The irrigation project at Dujiangyan is famous across the Chinese speaking world as a marvel of man's use of natural principles to achieve beneficial results; as a truly powerful example of Taoism (the philosophy) in practice. The creation of a small island midstream and a passageway through a mountain ridge allowed water to flow on a route that nature alone could not take. This brought a huge area of land into use and made this part of Sichuan the 'land of abundance'.

In thanks for the wealth that resulted, a ceremony is held each year at the time of the Qing Ming Festival. This 'Grave Sweeping' Festival is very much about ancestor worship and here the whole district pays homage to the project's creator, Li Bing, and his son who finished the construction. This includes much Taoist (the religion) ceremony and a wonderful re-enactment of the moment when water first flowed into the irrigation channel.

Written by  Ian Ford.

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