China entertainment: Night and Day

Following on from our four-part series on the best way to plan your China experience, we now look at the final element which will show you the best of what China has to offer. Evening activities and entertainment show the side of China which arguably offer the most real look into how China wants to be remembered. A great amount of the actives taking place across China are witnessed mainly by Chinese nationals themselves, with only the fringes being what those from other parts of the world get to witness. For this reason, the shows offer a tremendously authentic insight directly into the China which shows itself off, and should not be missed when wanting to get to know the country deeply.
So to take a look into this important part of an experience, we will look at some of the outstanding examples of China entertainment and activities as just the beginning of what China has to offer.

Long Hair Show

The Red Yao ethnic tribe live in the Longsheng area of Guangxi province and are known for their quaint and captivating ethnic traditions which have survived to this day. Amongst some of the many traditions, including men moving in with the families of their brides, and young people singing folk songs to attract the hearts of those they admire, is that the women will preserve their hair, only cutting their hair once in their life (at 16, when they start looking for a husband). This means that the women’s hair can often be as tall as she is! These women will then put on a playful show showing off their long locks, cheeky personalities, and other parts of their unique culture.

Golden Mask Show

The Golden Mask show casts back to an era in ancient history when there were two warring kingdoms dominating China; the Golden Mask Dynasty and the Blue Mask Dynasty. After defeating the Blue Mask Dynasty and capturing its warriors, the Golden Mask Dynasty made a heroic and compassionate move by releasing all of the warriors and allowing them to marry the women of the newly created empire, creating a more prosperous dynasty than ever before. The show collects the best of the best of Chinese playwrights, directors and designers and combines acrobatics, explosions of colour and impressive flood scenes to make perhaps China’s most unmissable show.

Naxi Ancient Music Show

The Naxi people, hidden in the region of Yunnan provide near Lijiang, are known worldwide for uniquely talented musical and artistic culture, having been invited to numerous countries around the world to show off their talents. The bands themselves are comprised of butchers, farmers, clerks, and teachers and are famous known as the ‘three olds’; old men playing the show, old instruments being played on, and old and ancient songs being played. The show is a chance for the village to take place in showing off their talents too one another and tourists alike. The music dates back to the Tang dynasty and is brought alive daily in the Naxi Concert Hall.
All in all, this offers just a window into some of the entertainment which China calls home. With the above as a good place to start and the rest of China bulging with cultural practices of celebration both known and unknown, waiting to be discovered, it’s difficult to miss wondering into something which authentically shows China at its best.
That concludes our four-part series on essential introduction into how to make the most out of China sightseeing; by exploring the elements of culture, cuisine, and entertainment and activities. Stay tuned for our next blog post where we will take another step into ways to make the most of your China experience.