The year 2016 is coming to an end, and this year has witnessed several major cultural events that impressed us. We have selected the top 10 major cultural events that occurred this year so you can take a look back at 2016.
1. China’s 24 Solar Terms added to UNESCO’s heritage list
China’s 24 Solar Terms were added to UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage on Nov 30 this year.
China’s 24 Solar Terms, considered as the country’s fifth greatest invention, is a knowledge system and social practice formed through observations of the sun’s annual motion, and cognition of the year’s changes in season, climate and phenology.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization announced the addition at the 11th Session of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
2. Highest price of Chinese artwork at auction this year: 663 million yuan
Five Drunken Kings Return on Horses by Ren Renfa, a prominent painter of horses and also a high-ranking official in charge of water controls during the Yuan Dynasty, was sold for 303 million yuan at a Beijing auction on Dec 4.
The 2-meter-long color hand scroll fetched 303 million yuan, claiming the record for the highest paid Chinese artwork at auction this year.
3. Scattering books on subway went viral in big cities
Inspired by British actress and "book fairy" Emma Watson, the Scattering Book project, which advocates leaving books in public spaces for more people to read, went viral nationwide.
Xinshixiang, an influential public account on WeChat launched a Scattering Book project in November in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, with 10,000 books left on subways, airplanes and taxis for sharing.
Each book is marked with the Scattering Book project name and anyone can read the book freely and then pass it on anywhere in the city. There is a QR code inside the book and by scanning the code one can trace the book and see messages left by former readers.
The project was also stirring heated debate. Some have their doubts, wondering if it is just a marketing campaign or whether it will really help people pick up a book.
4. First Chinese woman to win a Hugo Award
Science-fiction author Hao Jingfang became the first Chinese woman to win a Hugo Award, beating best-selling horror and fantasy writer Stephen King in the best novelette category.
The 32-year-old from Tianjin received the prize for Folding Beijing, in which she depicts the Chinese capital as a city divided by social class.
Her win comes a year after Liu Cixin won a Hugo for his novel The Three-Body Problem. He was the first Chinese author to win the prize.
5. Auction of stolen or smuggled relics banned
A new regulation that bans the auction of stolen, smuggled and looted cultural relics reinforces China’s firm stance on preventing the loss of relics and retrieving those that have been illegally transported abroad.
The State Administration of Cultural Relics issued the regulation on Oct 20 on its website, specifying the types of cultural objects that, if originally obtained illegally, cannot appear in sales.
They include all types of artworks dating before 1949, as well as documents and objects of historical importance and works of late modern artists that are restricted by law from exportation.