Located 30 kilometers southwest of the county seat, Zisong Mountain is famous for its Hua' er Hui (Song Festival), which is held annually on the 6th day of the 6th lunar month and is, in fact, the last venue of the famous Lianhua Mountain Hua'er Hui. Most farm work is complet-ed by the sixth lunar month but the montain is still clothed in luxuriant vegetation. Folk singers from the counties around gather here to compete in singing their beloved hua~ er songs; local people and hua~ er enthusiasts come to enjoy both the beauty of hua~ er and the beauty of nature. In addition to the above mentioned scenic spots, the main historical sites in Lintao are: a section of the Great Wall of the Qin Dynasty built during the Warring States Pe-riod (475--221BC), just fifteen kilometers north of the county seat; the Memorial Mound of Jiangwei, the eminent general of the Three Kingdoms period, just east of the coun-ty seat: aha the Achievement Monument of Ge Shuhan, a military governor of the Tang Dynasty period, located on South Street. The county Museum located downtown also has some ancient painted pottery froml000--3,000 years BC.
Lianhua Mountain Hua~er
Hua~ er, a well-known style of folksong in China, boasts a long history and is very popular in south Gan;sm Based on the style of singing and the difference in tone, hua~ er falls into two categories—Linxia Hua~ er and Lianhua Mountain Hua~ er. The latter is in vogue in Lintao County, especially in the south of the county.
Since Linhua Mountain Huan~ er is simple, it is suitable for group-singing and story-telling. So, in most casses, singing-groups, composed of four or five singers are formed before a competition, team-work is very important. Lianhua Mountain Hua~ er, in light of the structure of the contents, can also be divided into two different kinds—San Huan' er (free-form style) and Zheng Hua~ er (complete story-telling style). As far as San Hua' er is concerned, singers are al-lowed to create the words of their songs according to the cir-cumstances and conditions, in other words, it is improvisa-tion. Zheng Hua' er, on the other hand, demands singers to concentrate on a complete story and sing it through from be-ginning to end antiphonally. Stories like"Three Kingdoms" and "Journey to the West" are the most popular. Lianhua Mountain is one of the most important venues for the Hua' er Festival. On the 2nd day of the 6th lunar month, every year, Lianhau Mountain, located at the border of Lintan, Kang, and Zhouni Counties, is at its best and at-tracts hundreds of singers and fans from the counties around. They first gather at Jigo Valley, which lies at the northern foot of Lianhua Mountain and start to climb in the early morning of the 3rd day. From then on, the whole mountain is caught up in the spirit of the festival and enrapt by the sound of singing, day and night. On the 4th day of the lunar month, the people begin to descend the mountain. In the morning, of the 5th day, they set out for Wangjia Goumen—the second venue, 15 kilome-ters away. On the way, however, the singers are in high spir-its and eager to meet the challenge o~ the local singers, who normally block their way by stringing ropes across the road. Then, the singers from afar and the natives sing merrily in antiphonal style until the latter are satisfied. When they get to Wangjia Goumen, the singers and fans light bonfires here and there, on the river bed and on the hillside, but they never stop singing, even throughout the night. On the 6th day, they arrive at the foot of Zisong Mountain, where they are warmly welcomed by the local singers and local fans who entertain the guests from afar with songs and home-made wine. Then, they head for the hilltop together to continue the celebration and enjoy the sights of Zisong Mountain.
Since Zisong Mountain is the last venue of the Lianhua Mountain Hua' er Festival, the singers also, while still singing, set a date for the next yeart s festival and fairwells are sung to each other. Thus, the festival comes to an end to the sound of continuous singing.
In addition to the venues mentionde above, there are about 20 others, among them Taishi, Zhongpu, and Hongqi Districts are mainly for Linxia style Huat er. Every year, from the 28th day of the 3rd lunar month to the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, traditional hua~ er festivals are held here and there at differnt times. Thus the singing, on the whole, lasts almost five months. According to the data pro-vided by the county, the main festivals are held as follows:
Township Name Date4 lunar month Location Number of Days
Panjia Ji 28 March Zisong Mt. 1
Goujia Tan 5 May Yia Valley 3
Yujing Xiang 19 May Yioume Tan 1-3
Yiaxia Xiang 23 May Wangma Jia Tan 3
Sanjia Xiang 24 May Guojia Quian 1-3
Yiaxia Xiang 15 August Kangjia Valley 1
Papercuts and embroidery are very popular among the women of Lintao, especially when an occasion for celebration is just around the corner. Some women who are skilled at it, like to paste their home-made papercuts on windows and sometimes embroider pillows, stomachers, shoes, etc. with multicolored patterns. The principal subjects of their work are flowers, plants, fish, insects, cats, rabbits, etc. The design of the intricate patterns are distinctive and have a rich local flavor. Papercuts and embroidery add additional beauty to the lives of the people of Lintao.
Some craftsmen in Lintao are good at painting furni-ture, particularly at painting patterns with gold lacquer. The most common subjects are flowers, plants, and characters from traditional operas. The painters in Lintao have earned an excellent reputation because of their fine craftsmanship.
Lintao has had a long history and has quite a few sites of ancient culture. The people here are not only good and honest, but modest and eager to learn. Since the people and the county government attach great importance to educa-tion, those of talent are encouraged and developed. Now there are around 600 schools of various kinds with 80, 000 students in them. The student enrollment, retention, and graduation rates are higher than in any other county in the province. Moreover, an annual countywide track and field meet is held here; this is very rare throughout the whole na-tion. As a result, physical culture institutes throughout our country have enrolled more than 150 students from Lintao. Over the years, some of them have done very well and be-come master sportsmen. For instance, Li Yuanzhen, who is from Lintao, won the gold medal in an invitational track and field meet for world college students held in Paris. Lintao does its best to be worthy of the name "Cultural County".
On almost every happy occasion, women in Lintao pre-sent elaborate pasteries to their relatives and friends; they are shaped into flowers, such as lotus, chrysanthemum, plum blossom, Chinese flowering crabapple, and so on. Even the simplest one "The Little Round Steamed Bun" is also deco-rated with patterns like plum blossoms. The ingredients of the pastries are mainly flour, dried fruit and turmeric powder, but controlling the leavening of the dough, moulding it and regulating the fire while steaming the bread calls for partic-ular skill and experience. What makes the pastries of Lintao so special is that they are not only good in taste, but also in smell and color.
Guihua Crunchy Candy
This candy is well-known far and wide and is on sale throughout the country. The principal ingredients are mil-let, corn, osmanthus flowers, walnuts and sesame seeds. The candy is crisp, fragrant, and delicious.
Cooked wheaten food is the staple for the local people, Over the years, they have developed many ways to cook it. Saozi Noodles are one of the best known. These noodles are processed long or short, broad or narrow, or in various other shapes. When a thick soup made of pork and dainties of any kind is poured over the prepared noodles, they make a deli-cious feast. Because of their taste, Saozi Noodles are very popular with the local people.
In addition to the above mentioned food, Niangao (Sticky Rice Cakes), Liangfen (Bean Jelly), Xingren Youcha (Almond and Fried Flour Tea) and Wine Pezi are also fa-mous local taste treats.
With a long history ~ Feitian Carpets, modelled after an-' tique motifs, have carried forward the fine tradition of North-west antique carpets in Gansu and Ningxia and have adopted the ingenious artistic styles of the art of various ethnic minorities. The carpet designs are elegant and the workmanship is excellent, These quality carpets, which are regarded as among the best in the world, sell well in the U-nited States, Japan, Western Europe, South American. Hong Kong and other countries.
Lintao Mosquito-Repellent Incense
Developed during more than a hundred proud years or
manufacturing, Lintao Mosquito-Repellent Incense is made
by a traditional process combined with modern science and
technology. Since natural herbs and spices are used, the
products are efficacious, effectively repel insects, and have a
pleasing scent. Because of good workmanship and consistent
quality, Lintao Mosquito-Repellent Incense sells well both at
home and abroad.