Kids, Yongzhou, Hunan

The last stop of the new year trip is the courtyard of Family Chou (周家大院) in Yongzhou, Hunan. It is said that descendants of the famous philosopher Chou Tun-i (周敦頤) of the Song Dynasty live here. The courtyard was built in the late Qing Dynasty — although after hundreds of years, you can still imagine the prosperity of the family at that time. Now, while the houses were still there as if they were hundreds of years ago, it seemed to be much quiet than it could be back to that time, with the exception of the time when you can see kids chasing each other on the old granite road.
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Mt. Jiuyi, Ningyuan, Hunan

It’s a winter morning when we visited Mt. Jiuyi in South Hunan. Rolling hills were hidden in the morning mist, as if they were not awake yet, while a flock of ducks quacked and followed the master all the way down to the field, hoping that they can get a first bite of the breakfast. What an interesting scene! According to Records of the Grand Historian (《史記》), Mt. Jiuyi is the burial place of Emperor Shun (舜帝), one of the “Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors” (三皇五帝) in ancient China. Many people may also learn about Mt. Jiuyi through one of Mao Zedong’s poems, which starts with Emperor Shun’s legendary stories:

七律 • 答友人 (毛澤東)

九嶷山下白雲飛,帝子乘風下翠微。斑竹一枝千滴淚,紅霞萬朵百重衣。

洞庭波湧連天雪,長島人歌動地詩。我欲因之夢寥廓,芙蓉國裡儘朝暉。

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