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Root-Seeking Festival commemorating birth of Yan Emperor held in Hubei Province

The Root-seeking Festival, an annual ceremony commemorating the birth of the Yan Emperor (Yandi), was held on Sunday in Suizhou City, central China’s Hubei Province.

Over 2,500 Chinese from home and abroad and representatives of all sectors participated in the ceremony via video link or in-person to salute the Yan Emperor. The ceremony sought to enhance consensus around Chinese identity and promote China’s refined traditional culture.

The main ceremony featured bowing, an ancestral worship ceremony, and Chinese instrument performances.

During the festival which will end on Friday, various cultural activities will be organized, including hosting a cultural week, launching a Yandi heritage-related temple fair, and inviting youths from Hong Kong and Macao to visit China’s mainland.

The Yan Emperor, also known as Shennong or the “Divine Farmer,” first emerged as a legendary figure among the Chinese people more than 5,000 years ago and is considered the common forebear of all Chinese.

It is believed that he was born on April 26 on the Chinese lunar calendar in Suizhou. Every year since 2009, the city has held a ceremony commemorating the emperor’s birth. The ceremony has been listed as a national intangible cultural heritage.

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