Three dragon boats that have been used in competitions
old farm tools
A hall where traditional Chinese wedding ceremony is held
THE Xixi Wetland Folk Culture Exhibition is putting the spotlight on local customs, fishing culture and more.
The exhibition started last Friday at the National Wetland Museum of China, which is within Xixi Wetland, Hangzhou. It will run through December 25.
Xixi Wetland is known for its beautiful water scenery that includes ponds, lakes and swamps. The area acts as a magnet to 120 species of birds.
Also, it is one of the original sites of Yueju Opera, holds dragon boat contests and the locals live life at a slower pace and still carry on many old traditions.
One highlight of the show is the display of old farm tools that have been used by local farmers and fishermen in the wetland. They come in many shapes and will likely be unfamiliar to people who live in cities.
For example, a wooden stool with a wooden plate at its feet is used for rice transplanting. There's also an antique juice extractor used to extract sugar from sugar cane.
Last week locals started to empty their ponds and clean the silt. They use a cleaner clamp and small boat for this. The clamp is a bamboo-weaving basket joined with two long bamboo poles shaped like huge clamp that can open and close the basket. When dredging, locals stand on the bank and stick the open basket into the sludge, close it and then take the silt out.
They also use 1-meter-long wooden boats to put in the empty ponds. They stand in the boat and shovel out the silt.
Given Xixi Wetland features many waterways, a majority of fishermen once lived on boats, leading to many unique customs such as weddings on boats.
On a wall in the hall, a TV shows how a "water wedding" was held. In ancient times, the groom took a boat to pick up his bride from her boat house. They then went to his boat house for the wedding. Relatives and friends also took boats to celebrate the event.
The exhibition includes three dragon boats that have been used in competitions.
There's also an exhibit on silk worms and silk production.
The exhibition also has free shows. On Saturday, Yueju Opera will be staged from 10am to 11am, while from 1:30pm to 2:30pm on Sunday there is a Xixi kung fu show.
Date: through December 25 (closed on Mondays)
Address: 402 Tianmushan Rd
Tel: (0571) 8887-2946