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Jining adds 2 intangible cultural heritages to national list

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: June 11, 2021


Dancers perform yin yang ban in Jining, East China's Shandong province. [Photo/jnnews.tv]

Two intangible cultural heritage items that originated in Jining, East China's Shandong province were included in a national list released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on June 10.

This is the fifth list of its kind and includes 325 intangible cultural heritage items from across the country. With the two new items, yin yang ban and plum flower boxing, Jining now boasts 19 intangible cultural heritage items on the list.

Yin yang ban, which falls under the traditional dance category, was originally a ritual that residents in Zoucheng, a county-level city in Jining, held to offer gods sacrifices and to pray for rain.

Performers of yin yang ban, half of which are men and half are women, hold a clapper in each hand and beat them to make sounds while forming various lineups to the music. Male dancers usually only wear loose-fitting trousers and black cloth shoes, while female dancers wear a kerchief, a mandarin jacket, colored trousers, as well as an apron.

Besides the dancers, there is a band playing gongs and drums, flag bearers, as well as people carrying sacrifices in the parade.


A master teaches a kid to practice plum flower boxing. [Photo/jnnews.tv]

Plum flower boxing from Liangshan county, Jining is a traditional Chinese martial art that helps build mental and physical strength. Boxers used to practice on more than 100 wooden stakes instead of on the ground like they do now. The height of the stakes rises as the boxer's skills improve.

Boxers also need to learn theories behind the martial art and how to treat illnesses.