Taking part in local event or festival is a fool-proof way to grab fun in your vacation. Polo Birth is one of the best choices in your Guangzhou destination in the first half year.
Statue of Nansha Aquatic Goddess in the Polo Birth parade. Photo from LifeofGuangzhou.com
Polo Birth (波罗诞) is one of the most influential temple fairs in South China, and has more than a thousand years of history. The fair is held in February 11 – 13 at God of South China Sea Temple (南海神庙) in Huangpu, Guangzhou. Once a year worshippers flock to pray to the God of the South China Sea. It is said that in the Tang Dynasty an envoy from Polo, a small nation near India, came to Guangzhou. The envoy was so fascinated by the prosperity of the city that he missed his ship back home. After his death, Polo Temple was built in his honour. It marked the starting point of the “Maritime Silk Road” to the Indian Ocean in ancient China.
Tips: if you like to take part in local event or festival, do contact your guide or search as many information as possible in advance. There will be lots of people at that time, and you are likely to get lost by circling around without even find an entrance.
When you dip your toe in Guangzhou, Cantonese Opera would be one of the best activities for you to understand the stunning Cantonese culture.
Guangzhou Cantonese Opera
Cantonese Operatic Songs is the purely singing version of Cantonese Opera, without costume or acting. Its history can be traced back to the middle 19th century, when “Shiniang”(blind female singers) sang and played the accompaniment themselves in restaurants, streets or by private invitation. They sang in “Operatic Mandarin,” and several became famous. In the early 20th Century, “Nuling” (女伶, sighted female singers) dominated the stage instead of the blind singers. They reformed the performance by adding a band and singing in Cantonese. Soon male singers joined the performances, and such entertainment became a regular feature in restaurants across Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.
Tips: You will be more than a little fascinated by the local operas / shows if you come to get some general knowledge or background of the story before during your tour in China.