Germany actually hides a "China Town", where the local residents call themselves "Chinese" and have been living the Chinese New Year for more than 90 years, with a festive atmosphere so strong that even real Chinese people feel they have had a "fake year".
The locals also elected their "emperor" and insisted on making Chinese the official language even though many of them don't speak it!
This "Chinatown" is the town of Ditford, located between Nuremberg and Munich in the German state of Bavaria, and derives its name from the Old Highland German word for "people's stream".
The town has been a "China Town" for more than 100 years, with more than 6,000 inhabitants, from children to adults, all with white skin and high noses, typical of Europeans, but each of them calls themselves "Chinese", saying that their town is the "Kingdom of the Chinese", and has even made Chinese one of the official languages of the town, making it the only region in Europe where Chinese is the official language.
The town of Ditfur is located in the beautiful valley of the Altemir River, backed by handsome mountains and lush forests, with a gentle stream, a quiet valley, an old town dotted along its banks and a fine church. ......
The beautiful scenery is the next best thing, but what really attracts a lot of tourists is the strong Chinese flavor.
The stone monument and the "Chinese Spring"
At the intersection of the town of Ditford stands a quaint stone monument with the following statement in German and Chinese.
"116°25', 39°55', 7698 km from Beijing Tiananmen."
The most eye-catching is the famous "Chinese Fountain" in front of the city hall, which is made into a Qing Dynasty official with his head held high, belly puffed out and a mustache, staring at the passers-by. As you get closer, his stomach keeps gushing out a stream of clear water.
It has Chinese characters written on the base with some decorative patterns, and a stone tablet erected next to it, which reads.
"Ditford - Bavaria's China"
This fountain was built in 1962 and is now a landmark in Ditford.
Rich Chinese elements
In addition to the stone monument and the "Chinese Spring", the town has many other Chinese elements.
There are many stores with Chinese banners and signs, such as "Chinese Bakery" and "Chinese Meat Shop" ....... The bakeries also sell fresh Chinese donuts and pretzels.
Red lanterns, intricate Chinese knots and dragon lanterns are hung in the streets and alleys, filling the town with an endless array of Chinese elements.
The "Chinese" carnival
"In February, the Chinese New Year, Chinatown holds a carnival parade where people dress up as ancient Chinese emperors and ministers, making it a Chinese carnival.
According to historical records, the first Chinese carnival in Ditford was held in 1928, and since then, the carnival has become more and more Chinese, and the people of Ditford simply call it the "Chinese carnival".
The locals are proud to say that the "Chinese Carnival" and to call their hometown "Bavarian China" out of respect and admiration for Chinese culture.
What are the Chinese characteristics of the "Chinese Carnival"?
The day before the carnival, local residents decorate their homes with ornaments with Chinese cultural characteristics, putting up Chinese New Year couplets, window flowers and "Fu" and "Xi" in every house, and some residents also hang red lanterns and colorful flags with Chinese dragons and Chinese characters outside their windows to increase the festive atmosphere.
In the early hours of the first day of the Lunar New Year, around 2:00 a.m., the children of Ditford put on their Tang costumes and ran out into the street, banging gongs and drums, to wake up the town's residents and announce that we are Chinese.
So, everyone started to "dress up" and the children's faces were painted with exaggerated makeup, and before long, the streets would be more lively than you can imagine.
All the inhabitants are dressed in Chinese costumes, some of which incorporate our "myths and legends", such as the Seven Fairies descending to earth in Germany.
A group of dragon dancers with high noses and blue eyes appear in the street to play the lead role and keep swinging the dragon's head and body, that is, the dragon dance.
Of course there are dragon dances, naturally there is no shortage of lion dances, and stilt walking and inviting the God of Wealth and other kinds of activities, and even some people out of the whole Beijing Opera face changing.
And the necessary New Year's bared flower cannon, of course, will also be arranged.
People who speak some Chinese also keep saying, "Hi! Chinese", "Chinese, how are you?" , "Have a nice life" and so on.
In the afternoon, an "emperor" elected by the local people, wearing a yellow robe and sitting in a three-story palanquin, appeared in the crowd's view amidst cheers from the local people shouting "Fugao Emperor" in broken Chinese.
Amidst the cheers of the residents of the town of Ditford, "Emperor Fugao" read out a "Letter to his subjects", praying to the heavens for good weather, good harvests and peace for the people.
Afterwards, "Emperor Fugao" toured the town in an eight-legged palanquin, which meant the official start of the parade.
The parade site has also been repeatedly playing a song "Bavarian Chinese National Anthem", interestingly, this "national anthem" not only Chinese people do not understand, even the Germans do not understand, it is said to be Fogordi from the German pop queen Helen. It is said that Fogordi copied it from the German pop queen Helen Fishel.
Once the parade started, more and more people would join the procession, and the revelry continued until late at night, and from a distance, it looked as if you were in a large Chinese cultural scene.
If it wasn't for that German look, I would have thought I was in the country for the holidays!
The emperor is a hospital worker
Since 1954, Ditford has not only celebrated the "Chinese Carnival", but has even elected its own "Emperor of China".
The current emperor "Fugao Emperor" is the 11th emperor, was smashed out of the golden eggs on the festival in 2015, his identity is only a hospital employee, has been working in the hospital, to the festival will appear in front of everyone, become the highest power in town, the supreme "emperor", even the mayor were relegated to his deputy, followed by the public drums, carrying a sedan chair, to welcome the emperor "enthroned".
Could they be the descendants of the Chinese? What is the story of what happened?
They are certainly not the descendants of the Chinese, and there are two main arguments for their being "Chinese".
It is said that a long time ago, the parish priest of Ditford thought that the tax paid by the town residents was too little, so he sent someone to collect it, and as a result, every house in the town let the collector eat the door, and the town residents evaded paying taxes by staying behind closed doors.
Having no choice, the collectors had to return empty-handed and reported to the bishop in exasperation: "The Ditfords are like the Chinese who have locked themselves up in the city".
Since then, the locals have been given the name "Chinese".
It is said that hundreds of years ago, the people of the town of Ditford had business dealings with our country, and they exchanged silver for our tea, silk and other items.
With more and more frequent contacts between the two countries, the people of Ditford became directly and deeply attached to the Chinese culture and considered themselves as part of China, and therefore became known as "Chinese people".
For both statements, many people tend to the latter, and so do I. After all, our culture is so vast and colorful that it is easy to get direct recognition and admiration from people in other countries.
You know, there are few foreigners in the world who have been conquered by Chinese culture!
In scattered calendars and in some documents, such as a priest's magazine from 1869, there are references to the Deptford area as a "Chinese quarter", similar to Chinatown.
This means that Ditford's title of "Chinese" was already well known at that time!
Write at the end
The behavior of the residents of the small town of Ditford, whether harmonious or exaggerated, expresses their love for our culture.
This also shows that, from ancient times to the present, our country's influence in the world is very great, in the field of culture, the Chinese culture is not afraid of anyone!
If you have the chance, go and experience the German "Chinese Carnival"!