Lianzhou: provincial Hometown of Folk Culture & Art
Doumen's Lianzhou Town was recently cited as the Hometown of Folk Culture & Art of Guangdong Province (2018-20) by the provincial Department of Culture in recognition of the On-Water Wedding.
The selection process was conducted in May. Screened were 43 standouts based on local recommendations and expert reviews. They were divided into nine categories, including music, dance, opera, ballad, folk custom, art, calligraphy, sports, and others.
Lianzhou Town boasts one of the best-preserved ecology environments in the Pearl River Delta. Its Tanka (boat people) and Lingnan (Cantonese) riverside cultures have a long history and numerous folk cultural treasures.
On-Water Wedding [File photo]
On-Water Wedding, a state-level intangible cultural heritage item, originated in Lianzhou Town during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Local waterborne families used to live and travel on boats, so being afloat became an intimate part of marriage rituals.
The wedding protocol involves crying, combing hair, bridesmaid singing and blessing, reading out amounts of cash gifts, sending dowry, and worshipping the Dragon King. The melody Xianshui (Saltwater) Song runs through the ceremony. The folk customs have been preserved to the present day.
Apart from that, Lianzhou is also home to two provincial intangible cultural heritage items -- Hengshan Preserved Duck Bundles (Ya Zha Bao) and Burning Bamboo Stick Incense on the 30th day of the Seventh Lunar Month. Its five municipal intangible cultural heritage items are Lianzhou Dragon Dance, Dise Procession of Eight Immortals, Grain Worm, Shatian Folk Song, and Shangheng Steamed Yellow Sand Clams.