[ Nearby ] - [ 2017-02-03 10:50:38 ]
On February 3rd, 2017, the 7th day of first lunar month of Chinese traditional calendar is Beginning of Spring, the first solar term of Chinese lunar Calendar which indicates a new start of seasons on the Earth, a new show of reincarnation. This Beginning of Spring term should be welcomed by songs.
Songs may start from daybreak bell sound of a Buddhist temple. At 4 o'clock early morning, in Anqing, an old capital city of Anhui province which was covered by frost with dark blue domed sky above, we went to Yingjiang Temple (Greeting River Temple) for Morning Sadhana after taking a bath, putting on clean clothes and burning incense for quick pray. The Light of moon and stars mixed that of candles in the temple, harmonious and perfect aura has been made by bell sound and chanting of sutra-incantation.
Sutra chanting and Buddhist hymn were echoed in the solemn temple, monks and disciples were coated with warm color from red candles, praying for prosperous and peaceful future. Situated at the east gate of Anqing, former capital city of Anhui, facing Yangtze River, the Yingjiang Temple had been rebuilt in Wanli regime of Ming Dynasty (1619 AD), Guangzong Emperor of Ming Dynasty offered his own hand writing for the temple's inscribed board which reads Huguo Yongchang (Nation Protection and Forever Prosperity) Zen Temple. The temple was renamed as today's Yingjiang Temple at 1650 AD in Qing Dynasty, and then presented another inscription board by Emperor Qianlong who wrote "Good at Lion's Roar". The third board was given by Empress Dowager Cixi who inscribed "Miaoming Yuanjing" (Subtle Brightness from Round Mirror Prajna) in 1882. The temple has a long history, can still remain its fine tradition even after some sufferings.
Time runs silently and years repeat endlessly. Clear morning-bell-hymn joined deep sound of morning bell, rippling and lingering in the air of Yangtze bank. Incense smoke rose in chilly morning breeze, evoked something past, some touching feelings that made tears running down my face. One reciting of Buddha name in the morning may last lifelong, even forever.
Let's traverse our past lives, back through tens and thousands of years, to hear those earthly sounds that had never really changed, that was from outside of the temple wall. We cannot remember all our reincarnations, but our footfalls at present can be our warning from our bottom of heart: your steps are on the ground; your heart should stay in the trust. All reborn experiences are just for lifting up your soul. If this has not been enlightened yet, it would be long-standing sorry and hurt. However, Buddha is always waiting; Jesus is always singing a hymn.
Then, allow us stay seemingly in this time travel. People of Han ethnic group are born with romanticism, so let the great poet Libai stroll along Qiupu River band. From Yingjiang Temple of Anqing to Qiupu River in Chizhou, then into ancient Qimen territory of Huizhou, to worship Buddhist Mountain and honor genius poet. The blessing for people in Huizhou is always lingering, and intoxicating. When intoxicated, we can't figure it out why poet Libai can wrote nearly 100 poems named Qiupu Songs at Qiupu River 50 kilometers away from Anqing. Those poems were full of feelings, either blue or cheery.
Qiupu River rises in Liwu Mountain of Shitai and Xianyu Mountain of Huizhou that was under the jurisdiction of Qiupu County long ago. This 180km long river flows into Yangtze River at Shewu of Xinhua Village in Chizhou. Nice views along the Qiupu River, such as ancient old stone town relics, Fishing platform of Prince Zhaoming, and Yangtian Hall, etc. create Qiupu charming scenery.
Qiupu River boasts plentiful yellow sand, was a silver mine site in Tang Dynasty. Poet Libai visited the metallurgic workshops at that time at night, moved by the working scene. He walked and chanted his verses: Furnace's fire brightened earth and sky, red sparkles disturbed purple smoke that's rising high, young faces flushed at moon-lit night, working chanting shocked chilly river outside. This poem turned out to be an everlasting perfect one praising metal refinery workers. River Qiupu is still a main producing area for yellow sand. Its yearly sand output has been over millions tones for export since 1984. But excessive desires have harmed the river's beauty and harmony, we can scarcely hear bird's song and monkey's scream. Please be quick if you plan to visit Qiupu River, before this relatively pure land is overwhelmed by smog. If its resource exhausted, Qiupu would be melancholy.
If Qiupu is a little below your expectation, you might as well go along the river against the current, through Shitai County, over high hills, into Huizhou. There, you have much more to see: the old Qimen Chi Ridge, still thick forest, forthright indigenous ethnic Yue offspring, simple and elegant ethnic Han customs, remains of Meicheng buildings dated from Han Dynasty, ancient villages, clan temples of over hundred years, and old stone path for Huizhou merchants. With those mentioned above, Mulian Drama, Nuo (Exorcise) Opera, Hui Opera and Huizhou dialect will help you travel back into the era of poet Libai who often created poems after drinking rice wine.
Then appear traditional customs of Huizhou which can be described by a poem of Tang dynasty: Don't sneer at farmer-made rice wine for being cloudy, in good year we'd treat guests with chicken and pork plenty, seemingly was lost in hills and streams, another village emerged through willows and flowers. Near spring day to worship the god of land with vertical flutes and drums, ancient customs are kept also with their simple and unadorned clothes. This Beginning of Spring term, the 7th day of the lunar new year, Huizhou is still in the festival and nostalgia, but in city, we are often up to our necks in files at office, the rich may indulge with money, but can hardly enjoy idyllic life and countryside tranquility. Accompanied by poems, Qiupu River has its source in Huizhou, which is almost the last land to cherish pure culture and customs of Han ethnic, one of most beautiful areas inspiring poets to write. We wish you joy at city's mutation; we even more praise country's coolness in keeping tradition.
On the Qiupu River bank, we can recall the history and recite poems. Libai once described the eco-view along the river in his poem: thousands of Photinia trees, forest by tenfold privets, hills inhabited by egrets, gullies echoed by sound of apes, if those who are homesick pay Qiupu a visit, the apes' crying may break your heart. Want to come? Come to Huizhou along Qiupu River bank contrary to the current. May a fair lady live in somewhere beyong the water.
The fair ladies are numerous old villages in deep mountains of Huizhou. Crows stay in old trees in the dusk, setting sun glows, cooking smoke rises. The Beginning of Spring Day, in the holiday melody, shows long-standing customs: At Erhu Hill so rich are millet and rice, pigs and chickens rested within slightly open fence, god of land worshipping feast was over when mulberry and cudrania trees casted long shadow, every household carried their drunks home.
On February 3rd, 2017, the 7th day of Chinese Spring Festival is the beginning of spring; we may sing a song at Qiupu River bank. Flowers bloom in transmigration, birds celebrate New Year. Libai's poem described Qiupu: As a homesick visitor at Qiupu River, might as well enjoy the flowers here, the scenery looks like Shanxian, weather is similar to that of Changsha. Beginning of spring is a fresh start of New Year. Find love in Libai' Qiupu verses; blossom buds of spring in melancholy tears.
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