Changde Poets Festival
With a long history and rich culture dating back to the periods of the Xia and Shang Dynasties three thousand years ago, Changde is one of the cradles of Xiangchu Culture.
Changde Poets Festival, with the first title of “the Chinese Poetry City” endowed upon Changde by the Chinese Poetry Association, has a close association with the spectacular Poem-engraved Wall. The wall is 3 kilometers long, with 1267 poems spanning five thousand years and 43 Chinese and foreign stone carvings showing stories from the antediluvian age to modern times.
In September 2000, Changde’s Poem-engraved Wall was included in the Guinness Book of World Records, and was named “the longest artistic wall of poetry, calligraphy and sculpture.” After that, the wall received its titles one after another, as one of “the Ten Scenic Spots of Changde,” one of “the New Eight Scenic Spots of Hunan,” and so on.
Since 2001, a mass education in poetry, with special fiscal finance support from the municipal government, has been integrated into the general planning of Change’s economic and social development. Nowadays, multitudes of colorful activities relating to poetry, such as reading, writing, discussion, salon, collecting and so on appeal to more and more poetry-loving people from all walks of life. The first poets festival came into being in 2003, which lasted for three days from the 17th to the 19th of September. Since then, this grand festival for poets from all over the country has been fixed to be held every two years on the day of the Dragon Boat Festival (the fifth day of the fifth Chinese lunar month).
In the cultural and practical sense, the poets festival is a full embodiment of the deep cultural foundation of Changde as well as a practical action to develop and transmit Chinese poetry. The Poem-engraved Wall is and will forever be a platform to enhance the cultural quality of society, thus benefiting generations of people.