WUHAN, China, Oct. 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The World Conference on Wudang Tai Chi opened Monday at the foot of Wudang Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in central China’s Hubei Province, in a move aimed at promoting Chinese traditional culture and exchanges between civilizations.
Over 2,000 participants from 33 countries and regions gathered in Wudang Mountain Tourist and Economic Special Zone, Shiyan City for the conference, which runs through Wednesday, according to the Organizing Committee.
Major events include an international Tai Chi competition, a forum on the Tai Chi culture, a youth arts festival, a cultural heritage exploration and health consultations by traditional Chinese medicine experts.
An opening ceremony that featured traditional Taoist music, international video connections and a mass Tai Chi demonstration was held at the Yuxu Palace, one of the largest monasteries among the Wudang architectural complex, showcasing the historical significance and profound influence of Wudang Tai Chi culture to on-site and online audiences.
For centuries, Wudang Mountains have been known as an important center of Taoism, especially famous for its Taoist versions of martial arts or Tai Chi. The ancient palaces and temples here represent the highest standards of Chinese art and architecture over a period of nearly 1,000 years.
“Over 500 million people from 150 countries and regions practice Tai Chi and about 30,000 foreigners visit Wudang annually for Tai Chi studies,” said Wang Zhonglin, Governor of Hubei Province, in his opening speech.
He said that the Tai Chi culture, which had originated in Wudang, advocates the philosophical concept of harmony between nature and man, conveying the ideas of benevolence and inclusivity.
Huang Jianxiong, Party chief of the CPC Shiyan municipal committee, said that Tai Chi, as “a crystallization of Chinese traditional culture and an optimal activity for physical fitness”, enjoys global popularity and that the conference aimed to foster a fusion of sports, culture, and travel development.
The Wudang Tai Chi International Fellowship Competition kicked off on Sunday. The competition is divided into five age groups: children, youth, young adults, middle-aged adults and seniors. A total of 1,503 athletes registered, including 128 from overseas.
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Caption: Opening Ceremony of the World Wudang Tai Chi Conference