Changpuhe Park: a good place to spend Duanwu Festival

2017-05-27 16:35 千龙网

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It is a custom to hung Ay Tsao and calami at home during the Dragon Boat Festival in China, and there is a beautiful park called Changpuhe (Calamus River) Park in Beijing. Located east to Tian’anmen Gatetower and behind the south Red Wall, the park opened to the public in September, 2002.


The “calami welcome spring” attraction is seen in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing, May 26, 2017. [Photo/Qianlong]

Calamus River, also known as Outer Golden Water River, was named after the calami growing in the river in the past. It was included in the imperial water system during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911). In the old days, during the Dragon Boat Festival, many people picked calami in the river and hang them on household gates wishing for peace and auspicious life, just like Zhong Kui (a figure of Chinese mythology who is a vanquisher of ghosts and evil beings) holding a sword to guard gates and drive ghosts out of gates.

Calamus River is seen in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing, May 26, 2017. [Photo/Qianlong]

Calami mainly grow in wetlands or on the bank of streams and paddy fields. It is also known as “water sword” or “pu sword” for its leaves shape like a sword. People usually hung it at windows, gates or in halls to repel insects by the use of its unique aroma during the Dragon Boat Festival.


Plants grow along Calamus River in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing, May 26, 2017. [Photo/Qianlong]

In the 1950s and 60s, Calamus River was transformed into an underdrain because it was covered by warehouses and houses on the ground to store the equipment used for grand celebrations in Tian’anmen Square. In 2002, the closed river saw the light of day again and Changpuhe Park was built along the bank of the river.

The Calamus River restoration project constructed on the site of the original river and connected the river to the Golden Water River. The restored Calamus River is about 500 meters long and nine meters wide. Four pedestrian bridges were set up, more than 60 old trees were retained along banks, and a lot of flowers and trees were newly planted in the park. On the north bank of the river lie a row of exquisite and antique houses. The main attractions in the park are “calami welcome spring”, “image of Tianfei Gate ", “Top of Wuyue (collective name of five Chinese famous mountains)”, etc.


A pedestrian bridge is seen in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing, May 26, 2017. [Photo/Qianlong]


Old trees are seen in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing, May 26, 2017. [Photo/Qianlong]


Antique houses are seen in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing, May 26, 2017. [Photo/Qianlong]

The “calami welcome spring” attraction is located at the main entrance of the park. It is composed of a stone screen of six 3.5-meters-high and 1.5-meters-wide granites with carved Chinese flowers and bird paintings of four seasons, and a large stainless steel “calamus ball” sculpture.


A stone screen is seen in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing, May 26, 2017. [Photo/Qianlong]

Tianfei Gate was a lock gate built during the Ming and Qing dynasties, and it was used for controlling water flowing from Changpu River into Yu River. The rebuilt Tianfei Gate was made of bronze. Two huge dragon-heads held wood-like gate leaves in mouths. Added with decorations of stone sculptures, the Gate is integrated with the watercourse of Calamus River and forms an artistic scene with rich history and culture contents.


Photo taken on May 26, 2017 shows Tianfei Gate in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing. [Photo/Qianlong]

Two meters high, seven meters wide, 4.5 meters thick and 60 tons in weight, “Top of Wuyue” is a block of very rare mountain-shape scenic stone of huge size. In the stone, people can see continuous mountains with overlapping hills, flying waterfalls and flowing springs like powerful Taishan Mountain.

Photo taken on May 26, 2017 shows “Top of Wuyue” in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing. [Photo/Qianlong]


A pavilion is seen in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing, May 26, 2017. [Photo/Qianlong]


A wooden bridge is seen in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing, May 26, 2017. [Photo/Qianlong]


Dongyuan Theatre is seen in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing, May 26, 2017. [Photo/Qianlong]


Photo taken on May 26, 2017 shows a landscape in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing. [Photo/Qianlong]


Photo taken on May 26, 2017 shows a landscape in Changpuhe Park, Dongcheng district, Beijing. [Photo/Qianlong]

In general, compared to the nearby bustling Chang’an Avenue and solemn Forbidden City, this small and exquisite, elegant and quiet garden park can be a really good place for you to relax during the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival holiday.

If you go

Admission: Free

Opening time: 6:00-22:00

Transport: Take subway Line 1, get off at Tian’anmen East Station, and walk east about five minutes.

责任编辑:Ai Ting(QN0043)