When: April 22-23, 2012
Venue: Club New York
Location: 41 Hong Kong Middle Road / 香港中路41号
The Beijing Beatles set list includes songs from the early days, such as Help!, Can’t Buy Me Love, and I Want To Hold Your Hand, as well as tunes from the later years of the band – standards like Come Together, Hey Jude, and Let It Be. This isn’t the first time that Club New York has heard from the Fab Four – those who were around in the mid 00’s might remember Qingdao’s version of The Cheatles.
Qingdao musicians and fans of Nirvana singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain will memorialize the influential songwriter with live music tributes. On April 8, Qingdao bands including members of The Dama Llamas, Mr Cat, Firehouse, and Toad are planning to gather at Creative 100 (1F) to salute Cobain’s music and life. The following day, the Sailing Club bar (Xi Hai Ju Le Bu) next to the Ibis Hotel in Qingdao’s Huangdao Kaifaqu (the Development Zone between Huangdao and Xuejiadao) will be the scene of the 11th annual tribute to Kurt Cobain and the music of Nirvana, featuring local bands Ping Yuan Si Ji, Xian Qin, Empty, Dream Machine, and more. Details below.
When: April 8, 8.30 pm
Venue: Creative 100 / 创议100
Location: 100 Nanjing Lu (north of Jiangxi Lu) / 南京路100号
Tickets: 30 yuan (RMB), Advance 20 / 现场30元, 预售20元
More info: 138.5421.8850
When: April 9, 7 pm
Venue: Sailing Bar / 西海国际俱乐部
Location: Huangdao Kaifaqu / 开发区
Tickets: 10 yuan (RMB) / 现场10元
More info: 159.5409.8300
Qingdao based punk band Gamma 24 plays the Old Church Lounge (Kaiyue Youth Hostel) on April 4. The band is coming off a well received supermoon gig with The Dama Llamas. The evening gets an early start at 8 pm in the lower level of this historic building. The streets around Kaiyue are home to many kao rou restaurants serving the bbq kebobs famous in Qingdao. It’s also adjacent to some of the last remaining liyuan in the city. Worth heading out there early for dinner and a look around at lifestyles and architecture of Qingdao’s past.
When: April 4, 8 pm
Venue: Old Church Lounge / 老教堂吧
Location: 31 Jining Lu / 济宁路31号
More info: 8284-5450
Su Yang (苏阳) and Li Zhi (李志) perform in Qingdao at SY Theatre on April 2, 2011. The SY Theatre is on Shunxing Lu west of Amy’s Bakery and Gunshi Music Shop in Taidong near the Weihai Lu Pedestrian Street. The show starts at 7.30 pm and is scheduled to last 2 hours. Advance tickets are available at the Xiao Xian Noodle Shop (小咸汤面) at 43 Jiangxi Lu (江西路43号) across from the Shandong Foreign Trade College.
When: April 2, 7:30 pm
Venue: SY Theater / 青岛SY实验剧场
Location: 26 Shunxing Lu / 顺兴路26号
Tickets: 120 yuan (Advance and students 100) / 预售和学生￥100 现场￥120
More Info: 8383.1883 / 186.5327.4612
The concert poster bills the performance as Youth, Like Grass and carries the following poem:
youth like a flower, blooming on the grave without grass.
many people live, the same as you live.
flowers, blooming on the grave. withered bodies buried under the soil.
just like grass just like grass
Qing Ming Festival (清明节) is a day to pay respects to ancestors and mark the onset of Spring on April 5, 2011. It is often referred to as Tomb Sweeping Day or literally translated as Clear and Bright Festival. Read more on Qing Ming from QINGDAO(nese) contributor Cherie. Please contact us if you would like to share Qingdao and China related content.
Qing Ming is one of 24 solar terms used by Chinese farmers to schedule their work. The name Qing Ming is related to the coming of Spring and the holiday comes 15 days after the Spring Equinox. Experienced farmers know that crops planted before or right after this time are much more likely to survive. There is a well known farmer’s proverb in China which can be translated as “Tree planting should be done at Qing Ming Festival”. The holiday, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, is a traditional festival in China and the most important day of sacrifice on the annual calendar. On Qing Ming, people usually go to sweep their relatives’ graves and pay respects to them with special dishes and wine.
There are many customs followed by Chinese on Qing Ming Festival: playing on a swing, playing cu ju/蹴鞠 (recognized as the earliest form of football in ancient China), going for a walk in the countryside, sweeping graves, planting branches of willows, and flying kites.
There is a story about Qing Ming from ancient China about how it became associated with the Han Shi Festival (寒食节), when cold food is eaten and fires are not allowed. According to the story, during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States era there was incessant fighting among rulers or future rulers for power and position. Chong Er (重耳), a future emperor of the Jin State, was trapped and forced to leave his state. Some ministers followed and saw him through all the rough times. Among these was a man named Jie Zi Tui (介子推) who loyally served Chong Er. After Chong Er had survived his exile and reclaimed all that originally belonged to him, including his kingdom, he gave those ministers who had helped him during times of trouble great rewards of power and fortune. But somehow he forgot the most loyal one, Jie Zi Tui .
When Chong Er was reminded of his omission, he sent many ministers to invite Jie Zi Tui to visit so that he could express his regret to the loyal viscount. No one brought back good news. Chong himself went to visit Jie Zi Tui and was also refused. Jie Zi Tui has hidden in the mountains with his mother in order to avoid meeting Chong Er. Somebody suggested Chong Er use fire to force Jie Zi Tui to come out of the mountain. The young emperor accepted this suggestion without thinking twice. A huge fire was set on three sides of the mountain, but no one came out. They later found both Jie Zi Tui and his mother dead at the foot of a charred tree. A letter was found under their bodies. Oh the letter, Jie Zi Tui had written, “Whenever you think of me, please reflect on yourself. You must be a good king who serves his people. No matter how one is treated, one is always loyal to his king”. Chong Er was greatly touched and named that day Han Shi Festival. Only cold food could be eaten on that day, and any form of fire was forbidden in order to commemorate Jie Zi Tui. Qing Ming not only has its literal meaning related to the Spring, but also has a figurative meaning of being a great ruler.
There are many customs followed by Chinese on Qing Ming Festival, including playing on a swing, playing cu ju/蹴鞠 (recognized as the earliest form of football in ancient China), going for a walk in the countryside, sweeping graves, planting branches of willows, and flying kites. Sweeping graves and going for a walk outdoors are the most popular ones. In my hometown, we usually eats eggs and green onions on Qing Ming. It has been said from generation to generation that this combination of food means we will be more intelligent the rest of the year. Every Tomb Sweeping Day, my whole family and I climb mountains or picnic outside. We do sweep graves, but that only occupies a small part of the holiday. My family thinks that even though we should forever remember those who have passed away, it is more important to treasure what we have now.
A famous poem by Du Mu is often recited on Qing Ming:
Du Mu Poem about Qing Ming Festival from Mama Lisa World Culture Blog.
It’s raining hard at the time of the Qing Ming Festival,
The mourner’s heart is overwhelmed on the road upland.
May I ask where there’s a tavern to drown my sorrows?
The shepherd boy points to Xinghua Village in the distance.
清 明 时 节 雨 纷 纷，
路 上 行 人 欲 断 魂。
借 问 酒 家 何 处 有，
牧 童 遥 指 杏 花 村。
qīng míng shí jié yǔ fēn fēn
lù shàng xíng rén yù duàn hún
jiè wèn jiǔ jiā hé chù yǒu
mù tóng yáo zhǐ xìng huā cūn
Innumerable photographs are taken of brides and grooms to be on the coasts, in front of the churches, and in the parks of Qingdao. Many of the picture perfect sites are around Bathing Beach Number 2 and surrounding Badaguan, where this shot of couples on their wedding photo day was taken. This phenomenon is a modern mark of Qingdao and has been recorded for posterity in video and still by many, many visitors.
Nezha was a rock band active in Qingdao around 2003-04. The group’s name was taken from a mythical character who is featured among other places in Journey To The West, fighting alongside the Monkey King (Sun Wukong). The band Nezha had a standing gig on weekends at the Corner Jazz and helped popularize the night spot in its early days with long jams of originals and covers like Hit The Road Jack and Riders On The Storm. Band members were Bones, Ray, Jako, Professor, and Stevie.
View of the Zhan Shan Primary School in the foreground, office towers, and apartment high rises in Qingdao’s new downtown circa 2002 in the background. The long closed school sits on the western edge of the still undeveloped space surrounding La Villa. There is a very small park behind La Villa and some 1950s era buildings that await their fate.
Qingdao used to be a bicycle friendly place (no matter what people say about it being too hilly). Now that cars rule the roads, it’s hard to imagine a city where there were so many bikes that they had to be registered and carry city plates. This two wheeled wonder of a bygone era was photographed at the docks in Tuandao, near to one end of the Huangdao-Qingdao tunnel, in 2001.
The old Jimo Lu Market was an outdoor covered market spread out over blocks of streets around the intersection of Zhongshan Lu and Jiaozhou Lu. This area was the major commercial center of the city until the population shifted east along the coast following the municipal government, residential redevelopment and newly arrived big box retailers in the mid to late 1990’s. This photo shows one of the main entrances circa 1991.
The Qingdao Symphony Orchestra (青岛交响乐团) performs the works of Ravel (La valse), Tchaikovsky (Violin Concerto in D major), and Debussy (La Mer) at the Qingdao Grand Theatre in Laoshan district on March 26, 2011. The QSO will be conducted by Hu Kun, a celebrated violinist whose extensive CV includes teaching in the UK at Royal Academy of Music and Yehudi Menuhin School.
When: March 26, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao Grand Theatre / 青岛大剧院
Location: 5 Yunling Lu, Laoshan district / 云岭路5号
Tickets: 50-100 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 8066.5555
Photo Credit @ Clive Barda
Qingdao is a lovely city to visit, also to live. There are bunches of things to appreciate in Qingdao, not least of which is shopping. When it comes to shopping, one place must be introduced – the Taidong San Lu Pedestrian Street (bu xing jie/步行街). The “walking street” is one of Qingdao’s centers of entertainment and shopping, with Wal-Mart (in Wanda Plaza), Liqun Department Store, Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonald’s, and many more locally and internationally known enterprises located there. One of the best places for Sichuan food in Qingdao, Tian Lu Yuan, is right across from the Wal-Mart – during busy mealtimes you will probably have to wait for a table or share one with other diners. Try the ma po dofu (spicy tofu/麻婆豆腐) – it goes great with rice (mifan/米饭).
There’s plenty to look at along the Taidong Pedestrian Street in Qingdao. One distinctive feature are the murals covering the walls of neighboring apartment buildings.
The roadsides are decorated by fancy night-lights and dotted with all kinds of snack outlets to satisfy any taste. The whole place is full of an atmosphere of business, culture, food, and fun. It’s a booming area where almost 100,000 visitors come to shop every day. The night market is also worth a mention as it is the highlight of the Taidong San Lu Bu Xing Jie practically every night of the year. The outdoor bazaar usually lasts from 5 pm to 11 pm, offering daily necessities and small fashion accessories. The products are affordable but of relative quality – it’s always a good idea to exercise caution, and caveat emptor. The whole area of Taidong offers plenty of shopping and entertainment options nearby to Taidong San Lu, including the Wanda Cinema atop Wal-Mart, the Wedding Photography Street (Yan An Er Lu), Qingdao Beer Street (Dengzhou Lu, location of the original Tsingtao Brewery), the Qingdao Culture Street.
It’s a great time to get out and explore some of Qingdao’s dynamic history and cultural relics. Check out some information on Qingdao’s temples both in town and out in Laoshan.
Lying next to the green oasis of Zhongshan Park, Qingdao’s Zhanshan Temple (zhan shan si/湛山寺) makes for a great peaceful retreat from the buzz of downtown. Zhanshan Temple is China’s youngest temple constructed within the Tiantai (天台宗) sect of Buddhism (China’s oldest homegrown sect of Buddhism). Construction of the main hall, several traditional style temples and the 7-tiered tower began in 1933 and was not finished until 1945. Recently, the cranes and power tools have reincarnated and several new temples and a large ostentatious bell-tower have popped up within the premises over the last years.
Located near the entrance are a pair of stone lions dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In the early 20th century, supposedly some Germans constructing the Jiaoji Railway looted them from a wealthy landowner’s home in modern day Qingzhou (just west of Qingdao) and brought them to Qingdao. After the German colonial era they were donated to Zhanshan Temple, greatly damaged during the Cultural Revolution, and restored in the 1980’s. Grab some incense and enter through the south gate on Zhiquan Lu for a free peak of the main tower and a lotus pond containing a large Bodhisattva sculpture. If you want to get inside the temple complex it will cost you 10元, and it’s open 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Most locals might tell you to head to other cities if you’re looking for historical relics and traditional architecture, as the area that is Qingdao’s present downtown was a small, insignificant fishing village before the German occupation.
Still, Qingdao covers 10,654 sq. km and that’s plenty of space to size up China’s extensive 5,000 years of civilization, as there are quite a few areas in Laoshan of historical import. One of these is Chaohai Temple, which commemorates the landing of the explorer monk Faxian (法显) at Shazikou (near Laoshan) in 399 AD. Faxian was one of the earliest Chinese monks to travel to the Indian subcontinent in search of original Buddhist scriptures (more than 200 years before Xuanzang made his similar journey that was later immortalized in the epic story ‘Journey to the West’) and his stories of life in the kingdoms following the teachings of Siddhartha Gautma survive today as one of the oldest Chinese travelogues.
Faxian and his crew, aiming to dock in modern day Guangdong, were caught in a storm and somehow ended up at Shazikou. They stayed in the area for almost half a year before moving on to the capital of the area, Qingzhou, to translate his new scriptures. Chaohai Temple was subsequently erected near the spot where Faxian landed and is one of three Buddhist temples found in the Laoshan area.
Other Laoshan area temples of historical interest are Fahai and Huayan. In 1980, a farmer tending his fields on the northwestern edge of Laoshan near Fahai Temple (法海寺) unearthed pieces of a Buddhist sculpture dating back to the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589 AD). Given that famine and war was rampant in the north during this period, Buddhism actually became much more popular and widely accepted around the Yellow River Delta (including the Shandong Peninsula) before later moving south during the Tang and Song Dynasties. Finally, on the eastern side of Laoshan is Huayan Temple (华严寺), where there’s a large statue of the Bodhisattva Guanyin and several temples, but to get there you face the 100元 entrance fee for the Laoshan Scenic Park.
One of Qingdao’s most visited temples is Tai Qing Gong (太清宫) in the southern part of Laoshan near the Yellow Sea. Tai Qing Gong is a Taoist temple and receives many individual tourists and tour groups all year round. View some photos of Tai Qing Gong.
Yunxiao Lu is a short street in downtown Qingdao known for its many restaurants. It intersects another ‘restaurant row’ called Minjiang Lu about halfway along its course – at the northwest corner sits the landmark Xiao Nan Guo restaurant. In addition to restaurants, Yunxiao Lu is also home to a handful of KTVs and small hotels. Steven Gao of Lennon Bar fame used to run a very popular restaurant on Yunxiao Lu called Gao Shifu until he completely moved all operations including food and drink to the bar on Zhuhai Lu. Some of the best baozi (steamed buns) in Qingdao can be found at a little place on the northeast corner of the Yunxiao Lu – Zhangpu Lu intersection.
Many of the restaurants on Yunxiao Lu are hotpot and seafood places, with a couple Korean BBQs and baozi shops.
Yunxiao Lu is in Shinan district. It begins at Xianggang Zhong Lu (Hong Kong Middle Rd./香港中路) and runs north past Jiangxi Lu into the Badahu residential area where it borders the newly re-branded Number 2 branch school (formerly 25 middle school, one of Qingdao’s main sports schools). Yunxiao is the name of a county in Fujian province, which keeps in line with Qingdao’s custom of naming streets after places in China.
Yunxiao Lu on Google Maps
This month’s supermoon brings out Qingdao bands The Dama Llamas (their Chinese name is 大妈辣妈 aka Aunt Freaky on Google Translate) and Gamma 24 to perform at the Redstar on March 19, 2011. A documentary film (Hidden Pedestrian/隐行人) on the Qingdao music scene will be screened at 6 pm prior to the music at 7.30 pm.
When: March 19, 6 pm
Venue: Redstar, 100 Nanjing Lu, Rm 401 /红星南京路100号401
Tickets: Free event