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Reviving traditional shadow play in Confucius' hometown

Updated: Feb 28, 2024 chinadaily.com.cn Print
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The Kong Family Mansion shadow play, a type of Shandong Shadow Play, is an intangible cultural heritage (ICH) item based at the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu, Jining, East China's Shandong province.


Kong family shadow puppets, or piying, at the Kong Family Mansion, where visitors can experience the richness of Chinese culture and witness art that embodies classic Confucian values. [Photo/WeChat account: gh_b569fa52aa5f]

During the Spring Festival, the shadow play works combine Confucian culture with traditional shadow play, attracting many tourists seeking a taste of Confucian culture.

"It's amazing. It's been many years since I last watched a shadow play," said Wang Xinran, a visitor from the city of Heze. As a child, Wang watched shadow plays during the Spring Festival.

"It was very common back then. Now it's rare to see, so revisiting those childhood memories is great," Wang added.

To accommodate the surge in visitors during the Spring Festival, the Kong Family Mansion shadow play has expanded its regular schedule from four to eight to 10 performances.

Visitors can also participate in shadow puppet-making under the guidance of experienced masters.

The rich history of theatrical shadow play at the Kong Family Mansion has been revived with the guidance of national ICH inheritor Fan Zheng'an. Traditional cultural creative shadow play performances have since been introduced in the scenic area.

Additionally, over 40 types of shadow play cultural and creative products have been warmly received by visitors, showcasing the successful fusion of tradition and innovation in the hometown of Confucius.


The ICH inheritor Fan draws inspiration from the mural Beware of Greed inside the Kong Family Mansion courtyard to create the shadow play Legend of Greedy Wall. [Photo/WeChat account: gh_b569fa52aa5f]

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