Xifeng
A Brief Survey
Qingyang District has a mild climate and fertile land; it also has rivers,plains and forests ;it meets all the conditions for ancient human habitation. According to records,the area has been populated for six thousand years. Many remains of primitive matriarchial and patriarchial societies, including Yangshao and Qi cultures of the Neolithic age, have been unearthed. Today, Xifeng is the center of politics, culture, and administration for Gansu's Qingyang District.

Scenic Spots
Beishiku (Northern Grottoes)
Beishiku Grottoes are one of the four most important grottoes of Gansu province. They lie at the confluence of the Pu and Ru Rivers 25 kilometers southeast of Xifeng. They were constructed by Xi Kangsheng, the local governor of Jingchuan in 509 AD during the Northern Wei Dynasty,and later expanded during the Northern Zhou ,Sui, Tang, Song and Qing Dynasties. The present grottoes are in several lo-cations within a few kilometers of each other ;they include, Jingqousi, Shidaope, Huabaoya, Lufucun, and Sigou Grot-toes. Among these ,Sigou Grottoes are the best and most concentrated. They are cut into the cliff of Fuzhang Hill which is 20 meters high and 120 meters long. The grottoes are carved southwards and northwards from Cave # 165. They are also built row upon row like a beehive. All the grottoes are connected to each other by stone stairs and paths. There are 282 grottoes and niches and 2,125 sculp-tures. The sculptures of Beishiku are very similar to those of Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang in terms of artistic style; this is especially true of the seven 8--meter high standing Buddhas which bear dignified experssions and the ten Bod-hisattvas with her graceful forms, plump faces, elegant clothes,and kindly expressions. The ancient laboring people artistically expressed their desire for the good and the beau-tiful in the sculptures of the Eodhisattvas. Even though cen-turies have passed ,their aesthetic values live on.

Nanshiku (Southern Grottoes)
Although Nanshiku Grottoes are geographically situat-ed in Jingchuan County, Pingliang District, they are closely associated with, and stand directly opposite to, Beishiku Grottoes. Both Pingliang and Qingyang Districts cooperate to preserve these historical sites.
Jinchong Temple Brick Pagoda of Xiaojin


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   


The pagoda stands beside the street in Xiaojin to the south of Xifeng. Built during the Song Dynasty,this octago-nal,seven storey pagoda, constructed totally of bricks, tow-ers an impressive 20 meters above the street.

Donghuachi Brick Pagoda
This pagoda, too, was built during the Song Dynasty and is situated halfway up Xiyu Hill in Lingzhen Township, Donghuachi. It is 20 meters tall; each of its eight sides is 2. 9 meters wide at the base.
Double Buddha Pagoda of Shifo Temple


Built during the Song Dynasty ,these two pagodas stand at the east of Wangtai Village, Linzhen Township,Huachi County. Only three remnant stone statues survived the de-struction of the Shire Temple. One pagoda is a 12--meter— high, octagonal cone with 11 storeys, each side of which measures 40 cm at the base. The other pagoda is similar ex-cept that it is one meter shorter.
Baimashifo Pagoda
This carved stone pagoda of the Song Dynasty is located south of Baimaxiang Townaship, Huachi County;its seven storeys, without roof,are 5 meters high.

Wanfo Pagoda
Located in Jiaozhachuan, it is called Wanfo (Ten-Thousand Buddhas )because the entire pagoda is carved with Buddha statues. Like the others,it was erected during the Song Dynasty in Chuanpan Village, Zifangpan, Huachi County. It is carved of stone and is a topless ,octagonal, cone—shaped,structure of nine storeys and is eight meters high. Each side is 40 cm wide at the base.
Other Locations
In the Spring of 1973, the Muqi Production Team, Tianjayao Brigade,Banqiao Commune of Heshui County un-earthed a world famous fossil of a Yellow River stegodon of the early Pleistocene Epoch; it is now on display in the Bei-jing Museum of Natural History. Other Paleontological Fos-sils have been found at Lu~ngzi. There are also many his-torical ruins in this area. One of the more famous of the six-teen or so is the five—storey, pavilion—type ,brick pagoda built during the Song Dynasty.There is also the 22--meter-high Xinglongshan Temple built at a location where ' three provinces can hear a cock's crow" It was built dring the Ming Dynasty and has about 70 temples and pavilions. At Liujacha can be found ruins of the Great wall of the Qin Dynasty.
Middle Paleolithic and Neolithic ruins were discovered in Jiangjiawan and Shigou in Zhengyuan County; these in-clude copper vessels of the Zhou Dynasty. In Ningxian county, there are historical ruins in Miaozuiping, Dianzigou, Kangjialing, Yangzhangxiaope and Yucun . The Miaozuiping ruins belong to Yangshao and Qijia Cultures of the Neolithic Age. In the same area, the Zhengping Brick Pagoda, built during the Tang Dynasty,is over 1,200 years old. The Zhenyuan Bronze Bell in Puzhao Temple was cast in the fourth year of the Zhenyuan Period of the Jin Dynasty and weighs 4,000 kilograms. Ning Coun-ty is also the site of many archeological finds to include, stone axes, pottery cups, horses and figurines, short swords and bronze mirrors. These finds are all well preserved and protected for archeological research.
There are many valuable historical ruins on the banks of the Silang River in Luochuan 25 kilometers Southwest of Zhenning County Town. Among these ruins are three note-worthy,memorial gateways. They are named Enchongfang, Tianguanfang,and Qiangguanfang ;all were erected by, or in honor of ,an official of the Ming Dynasty famed for his hon-esty- --Zhao Qingbang. Enchongfang was built by Zhao in honor of his mother;the other two were built by subsequent governors in his honor. The gateways are carved from red sandstone;they are 10 meters high and delicately carved. They depict stories of hunting, family parties, etc. The trees, houses, mountains, waters, clouds, birds, animals, grass, and flowers are all very vividly and novelly conceived in very artistic compositions.

Folk Customs
Caves ----The Oldest Human Dwellings
Qingyang district is part of the loess plateau which av-erages about 100 meters deep in this area. Loess is highly suitable for cave digging. For thousands of years, generation after generation, the Icom people have lived in caves. The most outstanding characteristic of caves is that they are warm in winter and cool in summer, thus saving energy and providing a comfortable living situation. They also help maintain a moderate humidity which is important for health and enables the caves to be used as storehouses for grains and fruits over long periods of time. Caves are much more earthquake resistant than many surface buildings. It might be refreshing for city people to live in caves for a day to be close to nature. Have a try!

Local Snacks and Native Products
Qingyang District lies at the easternmost region of Gan-su and is different from the middle and western regions in culture, accent, customs, and food. The local snacks and native produce are especially appetizing.
Handmade Saozi Noodles
These noodles are said to be the best in the country. Cutting the noodles is quite an art; the dough is rolled as thin as paper and sliced as fine as thread. The soup ingredi-ents may be meat or vegetable ,the taste spicy,hot, or sour, but all the ingredients are fresh, local produce. Each family likes to make its own, but they are made only during holi-days or special occasions- --like weddings. It is a special test for the new bride to make the noodles; if you are lucky, you might make a visit at just the right time to get a taste!

Buckwheat Heluo Noodles
These are another Qingyang snack. The process is an ancient and difficult one. The buckwheat must be ground into flour first; chopping the dough into slices and making the Heluo noodles requires special equipment. They can be eaten cold or with various saozi soups. They are delicious.
Yellow Wine
The Yellow Wine of Qingyang has a distinctive taste, a long history, and is very popular in Gansu. It is made from Chinese corymb, millet, glutinous rice, corn, yeast, wheat and peas. It is reddish- yellow. Drunk after boiling, it tastes bitter, sweet, sour and mellow. It is refreshing and makes you feel good even when over—drinking. Additional herbal ingredents are sometimes added.

Native produce
Dried Lily Flowers.
Famous the world over,Qingyang dried lilies are large, plump, bright yellow, fragrant and have a high sugar eon-tent. High output makes this a good investment of time and land.
Apricots
Apricot growing is an old tradition in Qingyang because the climate is suitable ; every family plants the trees around their homes where the trees grow quickly and produce abun-dant, high quality, juicy fruit. Apricots can also be dried and preserved easily for long lasting storage. The best know varieties are Caoxing Apricot of Ningxian County and the Glycyrrhiza Apricot of Zhenyuan County. They are nutri-tious, sweet,fragrant and delieious~ you never tire of eating them.
Zaosheng Beef Cattle
Zaosheng beef cattle of Zaosheng Township, Ningxian County, is one of the best breeds in the country. Its main featrues are fast growth, adaptability, disease resistance, and bright brown color. It is vigorous and powerful lit pro-duces high quality, tender, nutritious beef and is popular at home and abroad.
Shishe Millet
This millet is mainly produced in Shishe Township, Xifeng. Its small, bright yellow grains are good for porridge and a nutritious tonic for women and childen.