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Week of October 18th: Party! Party! Routine…

We returned from Xian on Friday, just in time for Zhen Wu’s birthday celebration at our temple on Saturday and the Wushu Championship opening ceremony in Shi Yan that evening.

Over the time we were gone the Purple Heaven Temple had been transformed. It was covered in flags, and paper lanterns. Pavilions had been raised in the main courtyard, each one dedicated to something different. There was one with an alter for offerings to all the saints, one dedicated to the female goddesses, one dedicated to the gods and one dedicated completely to Zhen Wu.

Zhen Wu was a 15th century Emperor who came to Wudang for longevity and supposedly found immortality, thus becoming one of the main Gods/Saints of Daoism. Pilgrims came from everywhere, not just in China, but from Taiwan, Philippines, Guam, etc. Plus there were people and decorations all over the mountain for the Wushu championship too. We spent the morning enjoying the festival: music, drumming, Wushu demonstrations by our schools students, processions to honor Zhen Wu, and lots of photo opportunities.

After lunch the whole foreign contingent of the school headed to Shi Yan to walk in the Wushu opening ceremony celebration. Shi Yan is about an hour from the base of Wudang Mountain. Shi Yan, like much of China, is a city in the process of being re-vamped. It is known for its natural resources, including a hydro-electric dam, large natural reserves, of which Wudang mountain is one and where a large portion of the worlds medicinal herbs and tea come from, a large fresh water fishing industry, Mandarin orange orchards, and a wealth of mineral deposits, such as turquoise. It is also the car manufacturing capital of China.

The Wushu Championships take place every 2 years, as Wudang is considered the birth place of Qigong, Taichi and Wushu. The opening ceremony is a huge deal!!! 80+ thousand people, teams from 200+ countries, movie stars (Jackie Chan was there presenting), music stars (you would have to be Chinese to appreciate this, but the girls were going crazy much of the time!), and a full stage and floor show of all kinds of Chinese movement, including Wushu, but not limited to it. Oh Yes! And FIREWORKS! They are very into them, and they exploded thousands of dollars worth! Our school had been asked to walk for some the countries that were arriving late or had low representation. I carried the flag for Armenia and Kailin walked for Turkey. We had VIP seats, which were $400/seat face value, and we were all feed a wonderful buffet at a local 5* hotel beforehand. All in all it was a good day and terrific night.

After all this excitement the rest of the week seemed pretty routine. We got back into our regular workout schedule, which changed over to the winter schedule on Friday. This means morning workout 9-11:30 and afternoon workout 2:30-5. Works better as the light fades, and allows those who wish to, to stretch from 5-6. I am the defacto teacher.

Kailin put a rib out doing ….well everything! So we spent one day at the Master Du’s. Kailin had her first real Chinese cupping done. We even had lunch with him and meant one of his French students, Fabio. Plus this meant we were downtown on the big outside market day, so we took loads of pictures and ate lots of extra food. We gave our rooms a thorough cleaning Wednesday, as must be done from time to time.

Krishna arrived. He is Christy’s American-Indian friend from Australia. This is how it is here. Everyone is from everywhere! My genius daughter and her genius father figured out how to get her internet working again when the school couldn’t, but all the trouble with everyone’s internet did lead to a new router for the whole school and now everyone is much happier. China and the basics tend to be oxymorons.

Enjoy all the pictures this week!