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The culture of Chongqing is as varied as its history. The city of Chongqing dates back several thousand years and there are also multiple ethnic groups living in, and around Chongqing, all contributing their own culture and traditions.

The Bayu culture

One of the national cultures in China, the Bayu is especially noticeable in Chongqing as the Ba Kingdom settled in the area around Chongqing. The Ba people lived among the mountains, enjoyed the nourishments of the surrounding rivers, and became well-known for their warrior spirit.

Sichuan Opera

Sichuan opera is a time-honored opera style that has kept its various theatrical pieces, melodies and performance arts alive for many years. There are many kinds of Sichuan opera, but they have, over time, merged into a single more comprehensive style that is often displayed today. Most noticeable are the face-changing, fire breathing, and sleeve shaking performing arts. Sichuan opera is very popular with locals and tourists alike.

Chunjian Working Songs

The waterway between Chongqing and Wushan mountains is narrow and treacherous. Hidden shoals and reefs make the passage dangerous to inexperienced sailors. Crews on ships were often numbered in the hundreds and not easily directed, so songs became a tool for coordinating movement on the boats. 

Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage

In China, you may have heard of Tangible and Intangible cultural heritage. While the two words share a similar meaning, they are not to be confused. Tangible cultural heritage refers to heritage preserved through physical objects, such as the Dazu Rock Carvings, and the Huguang Guild Hall, places that you can see and touch.

Intangible cultural heritage refers to national skills, arts or folk customs, such as Sichuan Opera and Shu Embroidery which needs to be carried on by passing it on from person to person.


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