1. Sichuan Opera
As one of the oldest and most interesting opera forms in Southwestern China, Sichuan Opera is a perfect blend of local dialect along with the customs, folk music, and dances from other regions.
Sichuan Puppet Drama is a kind of stick-supported puppet controlled by strings, which often show at the beginning of the Sichuan Opera. Although the puppets are big and tall, and the puppets can also express all moods on the face as well as acting like smoking, changing dress, drinking, lighting up or blowing out a candle, waiving sleeves, playing instruments or sword etc to give you a new concept of puppet show.
Four actors at Four actors at the beginning of the show.
An old man is playing traditional Chinese music instrument – Erhu.
Sichuan Opera is known for three distinct features, Changing Faces, Spitting Fire, and Rolling Light. Changing Faces is a unique skill of Sichuan Opera, appearing almost magical to enthralled audiences. During the performance, the performers switch masks lightning fast to portray different characteristics and personalities of the characters.
Spitting Fire is yet another distinctive of Sichuan Opera. It is performed flawlessly in the Legend of White Snake, a key story that is a cornerstone of Sichuan Opera. The skill is hard to master, but when perfected is both entertaining and astonishing.
The best place to see Sichuan Opera is Shufengyayun Operatic Circle, which is located in Chengdu Culture Park on Qingtai Road. This stage is inside Green-Ram Abbey, the famous Taoist temple. In keeping with the Old West Shu style, the building is of primitive simplicity. The hall has functioned for over a hundred years and now attracts distinguished performers from across Sichuan Province who hold China Sichuan Opera performances each evening. This daily show continues to spread the traditional art to a new generation and keep the historic culture alive.
The actor holds a burning candler over his head with a fan.
The actor holds a burning candler over his head to get through the bench.
2. Drink a Cup of Tea at Local Tea House
Visitors to Chengdu will find there are a lot of teahouses scattered throughout the city. Drinking tea has become quintessential part of Chengdu people’s daily life. Because of this, Chengdu has formed a special tea culture all its own which attracts visitors from across China, and around the globe.
For Chengdu locals, it is very important to have the proper atmosphere to enjoy their tea. For most people, the perfect place would be a teahouse. The most popular location for teahouses in Chengdu is along the south bridge of Dujiang Weir, where the scenery is wonderful and the weather is pleasant.
There is a kind of teapot that is unique to Chengdu. It is made of brass and has a spout that is approximately three feet long. The people in the teahouses that can use this style of teapot are called “Tea Doctors”. The use of these teapots is an art in itself. The Tea Doctors spin the teapots and it resembles traditional martial arts. Because of the long spouts, the tea can be shot a very long distance. The Tea Doctors can shoot the tea from across the room into a small teacup without spilling a drop. Visitors, who have the opportunity to witness this performance of pouring tea, will never forget it. This is something unique to Chengdu. The Tea Doctors besides being experts in the art of tea are also very familiar with the local culture and area and are the perfect source to find out about Chengdu’s local customs, and places to visit.
The design and layout of the teahouses vary according to the owner’s tastes. Some teahouse owners prefer a simple and rustic teahouse, while others design teahouses in an opulent style that even the ancient emperors of China would be comfortable in. No matter the style, the tea in each one is of the highest quality. Each Chengdu local has his or her favorite teahouses to visit, ones that they feel most comfortable in. Besides tea, teahouses in Chengdu also have various local snacks or entire meals on the menu. Since many of Chengdu’s locals spend many hours in the teahouses, food is a necessity.
One of the most unique parts of Chengdu’s teahouses is the community atmosphere. Everyone from infants to the elderly come to the teahouses to relax, do business, chat with friends, or just drink tea. Many elderly come to the teahouses early in the morning and do not leave until late at night. Normally when somebody decides to leave, they give what remaining snacks they have to the table. It is the perfect place to meet new friends. There are also people wandering the teahouses offering to clean out patron’s ears, or cut their fingernails. They wander through the crowds with handfuls of metal tools that they use. It may look a little scary, but it a wonderful experience.
Chengdu has one of the few remaining bastions of true teahouse culture left in China. It is a wonderful experience for Locals, and visitors. It is something that should not be missed because the only way to truly understand it is to experience it.
3. Enjoy the Music Opera in Chengdu – Golden Sand
It is a fairy tale about love. A love story experiences about 3,000 years. Golden Sand tells people that if human lose the fairy stories, they will miss many mysterious things in the world. Mixed the Ruins of Jinsha (Golden Sand), this opera spreads the Chengdu culture in a special way.
4. Eat the Sichuan Hot Pot
As the name card of Chengdu eating culture, Hop pot will be a necessary meal during the Chengdu tour. Hot pot is very popular in Chengdu and is known for its spicy and hot flavor. Although this kind of hot pot is taken as the Chongqing specialty by the locals, it has become famous and popular all over the country for a long time
If you can eat hot food, we highly recommend you to choose this meal when you in Chengdu. Just imagine, use your chopsticks to pick up a meat cooked in the broth, and then, put it into your month with the smell of chili spreads over your month, it just a enjoyable thing more than a meal for living.