10th of September in China we celebrate Teachers Day. This specific celebration dates from Middle Ages. Teachers and Masters are respected and celebrated in China. They are seen as mentors for life especially the Martial arts Masters. This day of celebration has been awarded a National status on 21st of January 1985. The purpose of this celebration is to increase the importance in China of the teacher and mentor status. In this special day students and children thank their teachers for their important role they play in their life.

Shifu Shi Yanjun together with the students of the Academy had a great day exploring the wonders of Yunnan. This special day they went to visit 2 very important sites in Luxi area: Chengzi Ancient village and Alu Cave.

20 km away from Luxi, in the southern part of Yongning Town, you can find the Ancient Village Chengzi. The village is set on several hills of 200m high. There are more than 600 ancient folk houses and about 300 years old. The houses are made of clay (honeycomb) and chestnut lumbers. The roofs are flat and made of 3 layers of beam, straw and clay. 24 of these houses present a very interesting building aspect – the roof of one house is the floor of the upper house. When it is raining you  are not allowed to walk on the roof because can damage the clay surface. The houses have Yi and Han nationality characters.

Students and masters had a great meal consisting on medicinal dishes prepared following traditions of more than 700 years.

In the afternoon, the group visited the Alu Cave. In translation Alu means water and stone.  The cave consists of 3000 m tourist trail including: 18 chambers, river cave, resurgence, karst windows and speleothems. There are 3 different caves: Luyuan, Yazhu and Biyu.

Luyuan Cave has 760 m passages and 10 chambers connected by narrow paths. The biggest chamber can host about 4000 people. Yuzhu Cave is about 800 m long and contains chambers with very high ceilings and has impressive formations of stalagmites and stalagnate. Biyu Cave is about 800 m long and has the Yusun river with crystal clear waters. In the river you can see blind cave fish (dark red transparent fish).

The evening was celebrated in a very traditional restaurant where students and masters tasted again very traditional and medicinal dishes. The evening ended with traditional bamboo dancing and singing.

This celebration was a day we will never forget!

Dr. Rhea Du

Dr. Rhea Du

International Shaolin Cultural Exchange Ambassador of Shaolin Temple Yunnan