When New Year arrives, Chinese people generally climb mountains as a traditional and relaxing activity for blessings and good health. Xuedou Mountain in Ningbo provides the perfect destination for this activity with its refreshing air, natural vegetation and historical scenes.
Home to the world’s tallest bronze statute, Maitreya Buddha, the 800-meter-tall mountain has also developed into one of the five most dominant mountains, featuring Buddhist culture in China.
The local government is trying to enhance its influence by organizing several cultural events related to the statue every year.
The 2017 Maitreya Cultural Festival was held in August, which marked the 10th time of the carnival under the theme of “mercy, harmony and joy.”
“Xuedou Mountain is a magical mountain and it is a good experience to enjoy the soul’s tranquility and touch Chinese Buddhism culture here,” said Gao Haomeng, Party secretary of Fenghua District under Ningbo, at the opening ceremony of the festival this year.
Now is the perfect time to take a trip to the mountain as the plants are at their best in the early winter months. It is also the quiet season which combines well with the ambient feel of the mountain.
Starting from the foot and ending at the top, it is an opportune moment for climbers to ascend the mountain. In Chinese traditional culture it leads to success and progress.
Making a journey up to the Xuedou Mountain can be done in one day. It is a cathartic feeling, appreciating the amazing natural landscapes, waterfalls and cultural relics, including ancient temples and historical places left by former Kuomintang’s leader Chiang Kai-shek, who was a native of Xikou Town.
At the foot of the mountain, the waterfall is famous for its large gap from top to bottom, which ascends 186 meters.
Its spectacular scenery has attracted intellectuals and artists from both the ancient and modern China to create works featuring the waterfall.
Three red Chinese characters “千丈岩 (the name of the waterfall referring to its tall rock behind)” were carved in the rock at the right side of the waterfall in 1992, which is the work of Huang Qi, the former vice chairman of China Calligraphers Association.
One of the most famous poems praising the waterfall is by Wang Anshi (1021-1086), an outstanding litterateur in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).
He wrote a short poem extolling the largeness and straightness of the waterfall.
It is a historical temple dating back to the Jin Dynasty (AD 265-420) and is the most significant temple worshiping Maitreya Buddha in China. The temple is at the same altitude as the Qianzhangyan Waterfall and is only 200 meters away from the cascading natural wonder.