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Jiaxing History & Culture


Located in the northeast area of Zhejiang province, nearby Shanghai, Hangzhou, Huzhou and Taihu Lake, Jiaxing has a great advantage in location. With a long history and splendid regional culture, in 2011, Jiaxing was listed as a national cultural and historical city of China. The culture-history based tourist attractions in Jiaxing are represented by Wuzhen Ancient Town, and Xitang Ancient Town.

The Scene of Wuzhen Water Town   The Statue of Wang Guowei

The History of Jiaxing

Jiaxing is the birthplace of Majiabang Neolithic Culture. Up to today, it has a history of more than 7,000 years. At the time, the people began engaging in agriculture, fishing and animal husbandary. In the period of Spring and Autumn, It was named Chang Shui, and also Zuili, where there was a quite famous battle happened between Wu and Yue States, historically named Zui Li Battle(檇李之战), and during this battle, King He Lv of Wu State died of an injury of arrow to his toes. In the Warring States Period, Jiaxing was administrated by Chu State. In Qin Dynasty, it was comprised of Quan County and Haiyan County in the administration of Kuaiji Prefecture(会稽郡, the prefectural capital is Shaoxing). In Han Dynasty, the main industry of Jiaxing was salt industry.

In the period of Three Kingdoms, it was in the administration of Wu State. In 231, in the farmland area of Quan County, a type of rice grew by itself. Emperor Sun Quan took it as the deistical auspiciousness, and then changed Quan County to be Hexing(禾兴, the flourish of standing grain). In 242, it was formally named Jiaxing. In the periods of Jin Dynasty and Southern-Northern Dynasties, Jiaxing got a further development, and an important agricultural center. There was a saying going: If Jiaxing gets a harvest, it will be a great relief to several prefectures from starvation. In Sui Dynasty, the Jiangnan River(江南河), a section of the Grand Canal from Jiaxing to Zhenjiang, was opened, and largely made the irrigation and waterways convenient.

In 751(Tang Dynasty in China), Huating County, which is today’s Shanghai, was established based on the administration area of Jiaxing. In Jiaxing at the time, there were 27 officially-opened farmlands, the largest one is Jiahe. And it had been the important agricultural center of East China. A saying goes like this in history – “嘉禾一穰,江淮为之康;嘉禾一歉,江淮为之俭” (it means if Jiahe is in harvest, the people in the whole area between Yangtze River and Huai River get well-being; if not, they would be in frugality and starvation)

In the period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907-960), The Kingdom of Wuyue centering on Hangzhou established Kaiyuan Prefectural Government here, and administrated Jiaxing, Haiyan and Huating. Since then, the status of regime of Jiaxing was enhanced. In 940, Xiuzhou was established consisting four counties of Jiaxing, Haiyan, Huating and Chongde. In Song Dynasty and Yuan Dyansty, the status of Jiaxing was further improved throughout the nation, even became a flourishing port city for business.

In 1430, in the reign of Ming Dynasty, Jiaxing had seven counties. Since then, the whole administration system was never changed at all in the next 500 years. During this time, the business got an unprecedented achievement. The agriculture and handicraft industry were the pillar industries. Wang Jiang Jing Town, Xitang Town of Jiashan County and Puyuan Town of Tongxiang were all the famous silk centers of the world.

In early Qing Dynasty, the troops of Qing had a bloody massacre in Jiaxing. In the middle of Qing Dynasty, Jiaxing was gradually restored. In 1860, the troops of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom occupied Jiaxing, and established Tingwang Mansion to be the regional political and administrative center. In 1921, the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China was opened in a cruising boat on South Lake, Jiaxing. And Chinese Communist Party founded.

The Culture of Jiaxing

The main cultural origins are the cultures of Chu, Wu and Yue. Due to the multi-cultural influence, Jiaxing was a unique place to see many valued tourist attractions, and the birthplaces of many legendary figures.

The most culture-oriented travel destinations in Jiaxing include Wuzhen Water Town and Xitang Ancient Town. The famous people here include Mao Dun, a great master of literature; Wang Guowei, a great soul of Chinese knowledge; Xu Zhimou, a great poet of modern China, Feng Zikai and Zhang Leping, two famous cartoonists and philosophers; Chen Xingshen, the famous mathematician, Jin Yong, a great novelist of martial arts literature born in Haining.

If you are interested in the history and culture of Jiaxing, and plan to have a trip to view and experience the cultural existence in Jiaxing, contact us anytime please! >>>

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