Shaoxing's calligraphy festival draws 'ink-redible' strokes

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: April 11, 2024 L M S


Calligraphy lovers show their works in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province on April 11. [Photo by Zheng Peigeng for ezhejiang.gov.cn]

The 40th China Orchid Pavilion International Calligraphy Festival began in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, on April 11.

During the opening ceremony, attendees enjoyed a look back at the festival's history through a video presentation. The schedule for the 40th edition was also revealed, featuring an exhibition of the festival's collections over the four decades.

To explore fresh ideas, organizers have introduced various activities designed to inspire the public. Notable among these are calligraphy gatherings and educational tours. These efforts aim to encourage cultural participation among locals and tourists.


Calligraphy lovers recreate the gatherings of literati and scholars in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420). [Photo by Zheng Peigeng for ezhejiang.gov.cn]

The China Orchid Pavilion International Calligraphy Festival is held each year on the third day of the third lunar month. Its name comes from a famous gathering of 42 calligraphers at Shaoxing's Orchid Pavilion, or Lanting Pavilion, during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420).

Sitting by a flowing stream was a little cup filled with liquor. Whenever it passed in front of someone, that attendee was obliged to improvise a poem or drink a sip of rice wine if he failed to come up with one.

The gathering was where Wang Xizhi (303-361), the most prominent figure in the history of Chinese calligraphy, created Lanting Xu (Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion) and made the pavilion a sacred place for calligraphy lovers.