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Hiking photos - Changyucheng Hike and Opera Performance, 2011/04/20

From the start of this hike, it only takes a few minutes to cross the village and exit it on the trail that winds up into the hills. The village sits near the base of 2 abandoned sections of Great Wall and we were able to get good views of some of the towers up above them upon leaving and re-entering the village later at the end of the hike. The hike began its ascent along a hillside, passing a reservoir before entering a nearby valley. After a gradual ascent, the path rose out of the valley, climbing up along the hillsides and giving us good views of all of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

After reaching a ridge, we continued up to a high flat point, where the group took a break before continuing up to the highest point of the hike, located on top of the rubble of a round lookout tower on the summit of a hill. From there we could see over into some of the other valleys as well as a long section of Great Wall running along a parallel ridge. After taking a snack break there, we started the hike back down to the village.

When we got back to the village, we had a hearty, filling lunch at a local restaurant near the base of a section of Great Wall before going over to a Buddhist temple on the other side of the village to enjoy a performance of local Hebei opera. The performers presented several acts from different operas for us to enjoy and some of them were beautifully and ornately dressed. After about 45 minutes of performance the show ended and we headed back to Beijing after a few photos with the performers - see below!

The performance, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng Hike and Beijing, April 20, 2011

The performance was held at a small Buddhist temple. In ancient times, most performances were held at restaurants, courtyards, temples, and in the street for all to enjoy.

 the stage, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng Hike and Beijing, April 20, 2011

Traditionally, the stage set and props were very simple; a table could signify a mountain, a chair a throne, etc.

Chinese opera performance, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng Hike and Beijing, April 20, 2011

Each Chinese opera performance represents an event from history, legend, or literature,but there are always certain set roles for the performers to play.

The makeup and head dresses, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng Hike and Beijing, April 20, 2011

The makeup and head dresses are also important and proper training for a performer takes up to 10 years.

Some of the performers, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng Hike and Beijing, April 20, 2011

Some of the performers were beautifully and ornately dressed.

The village performers, Beijing Hikers Changyucheng Hike and Beijing, April 20, 2011

The village performers, and most of their fans, are senior citizens. Most of the people who are able to understand the intricacies of Chinese opera’s symbolism are in this age group.

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