Wufeng Chaoyang

“Wufeng Chaoyang” is a folk lantern dance prevalent in the area around Taiyang Town in Lin’an City. It features a fixed performance format with phoenix-shaped props, hence its name, which translates to “Five Phoenixes Greeting the Sun.”

During festive occasions, celebrations, and harvest seasons, “Wufeng Chaoyang” is performed at local temple fairs or gatherings, becoming a beloved attraction for the local community.

Historical Background and Legends of Wufeng Chaoyang

According to detailed records in the “Geographical Records of Yuqian,” there seems to be a mysterious and profound connection between Taiyang Town and “Wufeng Chaoyang.” To the east of Taiyang Town stands Phoenix Mountain, towering majestically like a phoenix spreading its wings, facing towards the east as if welcoming each new sunrise. In the northwest direction of Taiyang Town, four mountain peaks rise and fall continuously, their shapes echoing the silhouette of Phoenix Mountain, resembling four small phoenixes closely following their mother, collectively welcoming the rising sun. This scene is poetically referred to as “Wufeng Chaoyang” by locals.

Such geographical features are endowed with deep cultural and symbolic significance in folklore. According to local folk artist Wang Zhengtai, who inherited and narrated the legend, these five phoenixes symbolize auspiciousness, peace, and prosperity. They awaken from their slumber every morning to greet the first rays of sunlight, bringing hope and vitality to the land.

Wang Zhengtai also mentioned that this legend is not only orally transmitted but also detailed in the “Wang Family Genealogy.” This genealogy, as a historical record of the Wang family, provides textual evidence of the legend of “Wufeng Chaoyang.” Such documentation lends greater authenticity and credibility to the legend, making more people willing to believe that the land of Taiyang Town is indeed blessed by five phoenixes.

Origin and Development of Wufeng Chaoyang

According to the detailed records in the “Geographical Records of Yuqian” compiled during the Qing Dynasty’s Jiaqing period, Taiyang Town is located twenty miles west of Yuqian and possesses unique and mysterious geographical features. To the east of the town lies Phoenix Mountain, which stands tall like a phoenix spreading its wings. In the northwest direction, four mountain peaks rise and fall, each with a different shape, resembling four small phoenixes closely following their mother, Phoenix Mountain, forming the magnificent scene of “Wufeng Chaoyang.”

This unique geographical landscape not only endows Taiyang Town with distinctive natural scenery but is also closely connected to a beautiful legend. According to the narration of local folk artist Wang Zhengtai (1919-2007) from Taiyang Village in Taiyang Town, the legend of “Wufeng Chaoyang” has been passed down through generations and is detailed in the “Wang Family Genealogy.” This legend adds a touch of mystery and romance to the cultural connotations of Taiyang Town, making this land even more desirable.

In this legend, the “five phoenixes” represent auspiciousness, peace, and prosperity, while “Chaoyang” symbolizes hope and the future. The five phoenixes soar every morning, welcoming the rising sun and bringing light and warmth to the land. This legend not only enriches the cultural connotations of Taiyang Town but also serves as a spiritual sustenance for the local people.

Today, the legend of “Wufeng Chaoyang” is still circulating locally, attracting countless visitors. Standing on Phoenix Mountain and overlooking the four mountain peaks to the northwest, one can almost feel the aura and power of the five phoenixes. This legend has become a cultural symbol of Taiyang Town, showcasing its unique charm and profound heritage.

Artistic Form of Wufeng Chaoyang

“Wufeng Chaoyang” is a unique cultural treasure of Taiyang Town in Lin’an City, a lantern dance with distinctive characteristics. It is not just a dance but also a symbol of the local people’s yearning and expectations for a better life.

This art form features phoenix-shaped props, with the phoenix being a symbol of auspiciousness, peace, and prosperity in Chinese traditional culture, representing light, hope, and a bright future. During the performance, carefully crafted lanterns in the shape of five phoenixes become the core props of the dance, each phoenix being unique and lifelike. These phoenix lanterns are brightly colored and vividly shaped, resembling real phoenixes descending to earth.

The performance follows a fixed and unique format, with the five phoenix lanterns being manipulated by the dancers, gracefully flapping their wings as they dance. At the same time, cloud-shaped props complement the phoenix lanterns, creating a magnificent scene of phoenixes soaring freely in the clouds. This dance not only pleases the eyes but also symbolizes a beautiful life and auspiciousness, bringing endless hope and joy to the audience.

Every performance of “Wufeng Chaoyang” is a visual and spiritual feast. Audiences are seemingly transported to a mysterious and beautiful fairyland, flying with the phoenixes and welcoming a better future together. This dance not only showcases the artistic talent and creativity of the people of Taiyang Town but also inherits a profound cultural heritage, becoming an indispensable cultural symbol of the locality.

“Wufeng Chaoyang” not only revitalizes the cultural and artistic vitality of Taiyang Town but also allows people to experience the charm and vitality of Chinese traditional culture. It will continue to be passed down, serving as a bridge between the past and the future, tradition and modernity, bringing endless joy and hope to people.


1. “Wufeng Chaoyang.” Zhejiang Provincial Intangible Cultural Heritage Website [Accessed March 13, 2015]

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