October 5, 2013

0823 CHINA (Anhui) - Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun (UNESCO WHS)

The traditional non-urban settlements of China, large extent disappeared during the 20th century, are well preserved in the villages of Xidi and Hongcun, illustrations of a type of feudal settlement based on a prosperous trading economy. First built during the Huangyou era (1049-1053) of Song Dynasty Emperor Renzong, the village Xidi was originally called Xichuan (West River). The rise of the village was closely tied to the fortunes of the Hu family. By 1465, during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), family members had started in business as merchants, leading to construction of major private buildings and a public infrastructure. By the middle of the 17th century, the influence wielded by members of the Hu family expanded from commerce into politics, Xidi peaking the maximum of prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, at which time the village comprised about 600 residences.

The streets pattern of Xidi (all paved with granite) is dominated by a main road which runs in an east-west direction and is flanked by two parallel streets. These major streets are joint by many narrow alleyways. Small open spaces are confined to areas immediately in front of the main public buildings, such as the Hall of Respect, the Hall of Reminiscence, and the Memorial Archway of the Governor. Today, 124 well preserved wooden residences from the Ming and Qing dynasties with beautiful carvings form the major attractions.

About the stamps
The second stamps is part of the series Chinese Folklore - Liu Sanjie, issued on August 23,2012. According to a local tale, Liu San Jie was a beautiful girl, with a wonderful voice, who fell in love with a handsome young man, also a good folk singer. The two have sworn to never separated, and when a gang of hooligans surrounded them, wanting to take the girl by force, the couple jumped into the roaring Liujiang River, hand in hand. Nowadays, local people gather annually along the riverside of the Liujiang River, organizing a folk-song competition to mourn Liu San Jie. The four stamps, all with the same value (1.20 CNY) depict the tale:
• The Immortal Singer at the Zhuang Village
• The Battle of Wits Through Antiphonal Singing
• The Silk Ball Witnessing the Love between Liu Sanjie and Her Beloved A'niu - it's on the postcard
• Rising to Heaven on a Carp

The first stamp is part of the series Beautiful China, designed by Ma Lihang and Jiang Weijie, and issued on May 19, 2013, on the occasion of the National Tourism Day:
• Xiapu Beaches (0.80 CNY)
• Zhangjiajie Tianzi Mountain (0.80 CNY)
• Qilian Yu - Sansha (1.20 CNY) - it's on this postcard
• Panjin Red Beach (1.20 CNY)
• Longsheng Terraced Field (1.50 CNY)
• Xinghua Duotian (3.00 CNY)
The stamp on the postcard provoked a reaction from Vietnam, who accused China that violated its sovereignty. The stamp illustrates the Paracel Islands, currently administered by Hainan Province of the PRC, but disputed among the People's Republic of China (PRC), the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Vietnam.

The last two stamps are some personalized, with a sun bird on the main ticket. The Golden Sun Bird is an ancient artifact, unearthed in 2001 from the Jinsha Ruins in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, China. It is a ring-shaped piece of foil, made of nearly pure gold. The pattern consists of four birds, flying in the same counter-clockwise direction, located around the perimeter. The center is a sun pattern with twelve points.

Xidi - Wikipedia
Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun - UNESCO official website
Chinese Folklore - Liu Sanjie - Lets Talk Stamps

Sender: Kun Hu (direct swap)
Sent from ? (Anhui / China), on 19.08.2013
Photo: Fan Yanbing


  1. Hello,

  2. Hello :)
    Your cards and your collection is really amazing.