The Origin of the name of Sichuan

Si means the number four, Chuan has two meanings, one is River and the other one is plain. But Sichuan does not mean four big rivers although we do have four big river in this province.

Sichuan Ancient Map
Sichuan History

Before Tang Dynasty, Sichuan (Four Chuan) was called Erchuan (Two Chuan), here Chuan means plain. Chuan was used to name a place that has vast and fertil land. During Tang Dynasty, Sichuan was called Sanchuan(Three Chuan) for a time when another Chuan was added under the govern of today’s Sichuan. From Song Dynasty, another Chuan was added so it has four Chuan by then but it was not called Sichuan until Yuan Dynasty when the Mongolians were in power after Song Dynasty. And we used the name Sichuan since then.

But today, the false belief of its origin is more popular because the rivers are very distinct in this province although in fact, Chuan means plain in Sichuan.

Watch Sunrise at Xiling Snow Mountain

Xiling Snow Mountain is a 3000+ meters mountain near Chengdu. It provides people a perfect place to watch sunrise, ski and hiking.

If one wants to go watch sunrise at Xiling Snow Mountain, the best season would be winter when it is dry. The duration is considered from mid-December until the next mid-February. Travel to Xilinig Snow Mountain in this season, one shall has the highest possibility of catching a sunrise by the top of Xiling Snow Mountain.

Sunrise at Xiling Snow Mountain
Xiling Snow Mountain Travel Season

To do this, you need to drive from Chengdu for about 1 hour and use the cable car and bus to reach your hotel. There are not too many hotels at Xiling, so an early booking is usually necessary. The sunrise watching time is by around 7:00 am. One needs to get up and use another cable car to reach the top in time.

Winter is the snowing season at Xiling, the temperature drops below 0C especially in the morning. So one needs to be prepared for the cold weather. Other activities you can do by the top of Xiling include skiing or hiking to Yinyang Ridge.

Traveling to Mount Emei in January

Is January a good season to travel to Mount Emei? It is generally. Mount Emei is busy throughout the year. In Spring time, the weather is good and it is also the flower season so a lot of visitors come to visit Mount Emei in spring. In the summer, Mount Emei is cooler than it is in the city, plus it is school summer vacation, there are a lot of students come to do the hiking. In fall it is considered a good season to travel anywhere so it is also very busy.

Mount Emei covered in Snow
Mount Emei in January

Winter at Mount Emei is also busy though. At Mount Emei there is a ski resort; lots of families like to ski with kids in winter at Mount Emei. And in winter mount Emei has probably the best weather comparing the misty spring and fall and the raining summer, Mount Emei in winter actually has the most sunny days of the four seasons. To watch the sunrise is a big deal in China and Mount Emei provides perfect place to watch a sunrise in Sichuan. Snow may also be a big deal as the snow at Mount Emei presents itself as a total white land.

So please don’t be surprised to see so many people at Mount Emei if you are traveling there in January.

Traditional Spring Festival Activity – Temple Fairs

 

The Spring Festival is around the corner. The Chinese families are gathering together from afar, and preparing for the new year. The auspicious Zodiac animal of this year will be the Monkey. During the Spring Festival, one of the most popular activities for Chinese people is to go to the Temple Fairs which are usually held in cultural attractions in Sichuan themed ranging from the Three Kongdoms, the Ancient Shu Kingdom, folk customs, poetry and food.

Chengdu Temple Fair
Chengdu Temple Fair

As the cultural center of Sichuan, Chengdu generally hold many temple fairs each year, such as the Chengdu Temple Fair, Chengdu Jinsha Sun Festival, Chengdu Dufu Festival, etc. It is said the Temple Fair of this year will be held double during Feb 7 to Feb 10 and Feb 22 and focus on the Three Kingdom History, Silk Road Culture and monkey. The Jinsha Sun Festival will show the brilliant cultural achievements created by the ancient Chengdu. The Dufu Festival comes to the 7th this year, and is a great chance for people to reminisce this great poet of Tang Dynasty.

Chengdu Temple Fair
Chengdu Temple Fair

The Season of Spring Thus Onto

Today is Lichuan according to Chinese 24 Farming calendar. It symbolizes the beginning of spring. It also gives good wishes to the upcoming year. Lichun usually falls around Chinese New Year that is why the Chinese New year is also called Spring Festival. Lichuan marks the beginning of a new year and reminds people to prepare to work.

Onto Spring
Lichun

However Lincun follows the western Calendar instead of the Chinese Lunar calendar as we used it before. The Chinese Lunar Calendar is also called Farming Calendar because most of Chinese people in a thousand years ago are farmers. Our ancestors need some calendar to record the change of the season in order to to punctual on farming.

Happy Lichun!