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Four seasons in Mianshan Mountain

Mianshan Mountain is the birthplace of national intangible cultural heritage—the Chinese Qingming/Hanshi Festival. It is located in Jiexiu City of central Shanxi Province, 137 kilometers south of Taiyuan and 125 kilometers north of Linfen.

The mountain is noted for its natural and cultural scenes, especially for its cultural relics. Visitors can take a five- to seven-day trip to learn about Cold Food culture, Buddhist culture, Taoist culture, military culture or health preservation culture.

Covering an area of 75 square kilometers, the mountain is a national scenic spot with 14 tourist areas and 400 attractions.

Heart-lightening springSpring is a time of rebirth and renewal. The ice and snow on Mianshan Mountain thaw and the Shitong River is revived. Pines and cypresses put on new coats and make the whole mountain green. Snow white pear blossoms, pink peach blossoms and yellow winter jasmine dance in the warm breeze. Awoken from a dormant winter, squirrels and rabbits look for food. Birds sing brightly, seemingly welcoming visitors to the natural beauty.

During the Cold Food Festival (Hanshi Festival) and Tomb-Sweeping Festival (Qingming Festival), people in Mianshan Mountain worship their ancestor Jie Zhitui. People enjoy the festivals by swinging, flying kites, kicking shuttlecocks and playing with water.

Refreshing summer

The Shuitao Gully in Mianshan Mountain is one of the best places to go in summer. At its entrance, visitors are greeted by cool air. It’s like wandering into a new world, and the further someone ventures into the gully, the cooler they feel. At the end of the gully, the Water Curtain Cave sits. Peering through this curtain gives the view of a misty and mysterious world. A common refrain is, “If you miss the Water Curtain Cave, you miss the Mianshan Mountain.”

The Water Curtain Cave isn’t the only thing to see. Qixian Valley has soaring cliffs. Flowing along the mountains, spring water sometimes pours down like a waterfall. Above each waterfall hangs a bridge. Grabbing the chains, visitors move forward slowly as it swings in the sprays.

The cool air in Xishui Gully is enchanting. Centuries-old trees reach up toward the sky and almost block out the sun. Dark green mosses cover the ancient roots and stones. Red, yellow and white wild flowers attract swarms of bees and butterflies. Xishui Gully’s natural beauty is the reason it is nicknamed “Natural Oxygen Bar” and “Forest Shower.”

Visitors enjoy the sunrise at Mosi Tower and sunset at Dragon Head Temple. After it rains, a sea of clouds set the backdrop for a rainbow.

Fruitful autumn

When autumn comes, the sky seems higher and clearer. Around National Day, the red leaves in Wulongchan, Dragon Ridge Peak and Lord Jie Ridge pop as they sit in a green sea of pines and cypresses. This setting, which includes a group of streams, provides a great place for visitors to meditate.

Fall is also time for the harvest. This area boasts wild grapes, kiwi fruits, pine nuts and hickory nuts. Visitors get the chance to experience the original flavor of nature’s products.

Warm winter

Northern China’s snowy winters create the region’s offseason. But Mianshan Mountain thrives in the winter as it stays immune from the cold.

While many plants die with the first frost, exposure to the sun allows plants on the leeward side of Nun Lee Cliff and Dragon Ridge Peak to remain green.

The coldest winter days can’t penetrate the area around the Pengzu Cave where the air remains warm. While winter consumes the rest of northern China, the waterfalls, birds, squirrels and blooming flowers make it seem like spring.

In addition to the natural warmth of the leeward side, all the temples in the mountain have heaters that keep the temperature between 18—22 ℃. Devotees pray and participate in religious rituals.