On September 14, 1,000 lucky Australian tourists visiting Xi’an will be invited to experience a state-level Chang’an Impression Tang Dynasty Welcoming Ceremony, courtesy of the China National Tourism Administration and in continued celebration of the China-Australia Year of Tourism.
Held at the Xi’an City Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage site, this one-of-a-kind performance is usually reserved for distinguished visitors to the city. Former President of the United States Bill Clinton and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were all received with this ceremony upon their visit to the historically rich city. To be greeted with such a grand performance is a display of the city, and by extension the country, welcoming their esteemed guests with open arms.
Xi’an, formerly known as Chang’an, was China’s capital city for 13 dynasties, from 202 BC to 904 AD. At the time, it was also the economic and political centre of the world as it marked the beginning of the ancient Silk Road trade route, which connected east and west regions of the Asian continent from the Korean peninsula and Japan to the Mediterranean Sea.
Xi’an is one of the few cities in China where old city walls still stand. The magnificent 12-metre-high and 14-kilometre-long walls were built to protect the inner city, with military defences such as a moat, 98 ramparts and a drawbridge. It offers the best views of Xi’an and is often on the top of tourists’ itineraries when visiting.
The Chang’an Impression Tang Dynasty Grand Welcome Ceremony is the only performance in the world that features culture and etiquette from the Tang dynasty. The intricate costumes are almost exact replicas of those from ancient times.
Here they will be greeted by “city officials” dressed in Tang dynasty costumes. They’ll then be lead down the Royal Road by maids and guides, both of whom are also dressed in traditional costumes. This is the same welcome that dignified guests would have received over 1,000 years ago, so everyone is dressed to play the part they would have played in the past.
Once the group reaches the Ceremony Area of Culture and Etiquette Square, the “director of Foreign Office of Tang Dynasty” and “officials of Foreign Office of Tang Dynasty” will chant to welcome them. The act of chanting to guests is the ultimate sign of respect in Tang culture.
Following the chanting, the drawbridge will fall and royal guards dressed in their golden armour will emerge from behind the walls and welcome guests into their city. In ancient years, if the guards welcomed visitors it meant that they were honoured to host them and bestowed a deep trust in their guests, which is symbolic of how China feels towards welcoming tourists to the country today.
Inside the gates, guests are then led to the Barbican at South Gate, which will act as a stunning backdrop for the ceremony. The towering South Gate is the oldest and grandest of the four gates within the ancient city. The mesmerising multimedia live-action performance promises to introduce audiences to the Tang dynasty culture with ethnic songs and dances throughout. To honour the China-Australia Year of Tourism, for one night only, the welcome ceremony also plans to incorporate some Australian elements throughout the show.
Guests will be introduced to yesteryear officials, guards, maids and officials throughout as the ancient city comes to life once again. The highlight of the show is the finale where rolls of delicate silk are drawn from the top of the wall to the stage below. This shows praise to the ancient civilisation that once lived here and blessings to the glorious new world we live in. It also symbolises a modern Silk Road, where people come together from around the world in peace and harmony.
Tang Dynasty Grand Welcoming Ceremony
Guest greeting is given by an etiquette team of Tang Dynasty style, featuring royal etiquette and guards of honor with ancient Chinese flags and weapons, showing the pursuit of peace and prosperity by Chinese people.
- Into the greeting curtain- the vehicle arrives at the square, guests of honor come into the greeting curtain, where they are greeted by the officials dressed in Tang Dynasty costume and other working staff.
- Walking along the road of emperor — the guests go along the road of emperor, led by the “official of Foreign Office of Tang Dynasty”, “maid” and “guide”.
- Chanting for the guests– the guests come to the ceremony square, where “director of Foreign Office of Tang Dynasty” and “official of Foreign Office of Tang Dynasty” chant to welcome them.
- Greeting outside the city– after chanting, drawbridge falls, and the door opens. “Warriors in golden armor” line up to welcome the guests into the Crescent Fortification.
- Touch the history– the guests walk along the processional road of the ancient times, maids with lantern file out, and the guests are led by the “director of Foreign Office of Tang Dynasty” into the barbican.
Chang’ an Impression
A Multi-media Live-action Performance on the City Wall of Xi’an
Chang’ an Impression is a multi-media live-action performance on the City Wall of Xi’an. It consists of four chapters, namely, City of Eternity, Charm of Great Tang Style, Capital of Prosperous Age, and Forever Peaceful World.
It artistically weaves the well-known Chinese Tang Dynasty culture into this performance. Its immersive performing approach may bring the audience to a dreamland of Chang’ an.
Chapter One: City of Eternity
As one of the capitals with the longest history in the world, the ancient Xi’an city has witnessed prosperity and wars through ages, and has ever been abandoned and rebuilt for many times. After generations of rebuilding and maintenance, this ancient city of eternity stands lofty and firm across the time.
Chapter Two: Charm of Great Tang Style
The majestic Chang’ an city ever embraced a grand dynasty and witnessed a period of great civilization, that is, Tang Dynasty. It’s an age of sound political and military achievements and fast booming of all sectors; it’s an age of mightiness, openness and peacefulness. The dance put on stage now displays the great charm of Tang Dynasty.
Chapter Three: Capital of Prosperous Age
The ancient Xi’an city was the starting point of the Silk Road. This silk road spans across time and space. Right here can you enjoy the ethnic songs and dances and rare treasures brought from afar. Exposed to the beautiful people and friendly atmosphere, you are willing to stay in Chang’ an forever. The unique beauty of ancient China goes to Chang’ an.
Chapter Four: Forever Peaceful World
The silk rolling all over the sky indicates our praise to ancient civilization, and our blessing to this glorious new world. Let us build a new silk road between nations, people and souls with our sincere hope for peace and friendship. Let us pray in the name of Chang’ an city, the starting point of Silk Road, for the happiness of everyone and the world peace forever!
Be one of the first 1,000 Australian tourists that schedules a trip to Xi’an for September 14 and you will be included to this once-in-a-lifetime event. If you do want to fly directly into Xi’an for the event, Hainan Airline has scheduled a special Chang’an flight departing Sydney on September 13. From the moment you check in, the celebration will begin. So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets through one of the following partnering tour operators now to secure your spot.