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The fish-shaped lanterns that have been 'swimming' for 600 years


In Shexian County in the ancient region of Huizhou of Anhui Province, there's a tradition that has been shining with glory for over 600 years – lanterns exquisitely crafted into the shape of fish!

To get a sense of how truly vibrant these lights really are, take a trip to villages like Wangmantian and Zhanqi during Chinese New Year and see the night sky lit up with these denizens of the deep. For locals, these fish-shaped lanterns have a significance that goes way beyond the merely aesthetic: to them they represent both blessings and unique emblems of Huizhou culture.

What's more, the torch of this tradition is now being carried forward by a new generation of inheritors and fish-shaped lantern fans like Pan Min and Wang Chengfeng. Thanks to their efforts, this utterly unique intangible cultural heritage is being reshaped, reimagined and revitalized by a cutting-edge combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern aesthetics. Not content to let these fishy lights stagnate in their traditional heartland, they're busy transforming fish-shaped lanterns into cultural and creative products capable of swimming from the depths of the mountains into the deep blue ocean of worldwide attention!

Join us on June 17 as CGTN journeys to Shexian County in Anhui to catch a glimpse of a uniquely glamorous ancient fish-shaped lantern tradition!

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