Home> Media Center>Updates

Shaoxing holds sacrifice ceremony for Dayu

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: November 14, 2023 L M S


The Dayu Mausoleum folk sacrifice ceremony is held in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, on Nov 13. [Photo/Tide News]

The Dayu Mausoleum folk sacrifice ceremony and the Winter Clothing Festival were held on the Jiyu (worshiping Dayu) Square in the Dayu Mausoleum scenic area in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, on Nov 13.

Six hundred representatives of Dayu's descendants, people from all walks of life, and representatives of local residents all gathered at the foothills of Kuaiji Mountain to make sacrifices to the Dayu Mausoleum.

In China, Dayu, or Yu the Great, is a household name and a character who figures prominently in the origin of Chinese civilization. He is credited with establishing the Xia Dynasty (c. 21st century-16th century BC), the first Chinese dynasty. Even some toddlers can vividly recall his heroic acts, like controlling the primordial floods that once ravaged the lands.


Six hundred participants gather at the foothills of Kuaiji Mountain to worship and make sacrifices to Dayu. [Photo/Tide News]

The ceremony follows the highest standard for folk sacrifice ceremonies in ancient times and consists of 14 parts, including beating drums and striking bells, and offering sacrifices.

Visitors can watch the ceremony and receive commemorative badges to pray for happiness.

The sacrifice ceremony for Dayu was approved by the State Council for inclusion on the first national intangible cultural heritage list in 2006.

"This is the first time that the ceremony has been open to visitors," said Yu Maofa, deputy director of the organization committee of the Dayu Mausoleum folk sacrifice. Organizers plan to hold the sacrifice on the Winter Clothing Festival every year.

Yu added that the purpose of holding large-scale folk sacrifices is to invite more descendants of Dayu to Shaoxing to find their roots, preserve the spirit of Dayu and promote Dayu culture.