Cultural activities to celebrate Junpo Festival in Hainan
Amid the number of holidays and festivals taking place across China recently, none have been quite as bizarre as the traditional Junpo Festival, celebrated last weekend in Hainan province.
The Hainan government's tourism website describes the Junpo Festival (军坡节) as one the province's largest and most important festivals, with a history that dates back more than 1,300 years. Junpo celebrates Lady Xian, a noblewoman born in 513 AD in modern-day Guangdong province, who became a national heroine by helping to unite her region in a tumultuous period of Chinese history. A master of strategy, politics and war, Xian promoted communication, integration and intermarriage between the local minorities of Southern China and the Han Chinese arriving from the north.
For her contributions, Premier Zhou Enlai would later deem her "The First Heroine of China", while President Jiang Zemin would praise her as a "role model that later generations should learn from forever."