Tianjin, a renowned cultural city with a history of six hundred years, is endowed with rich history and a great variety of cultural heritages, among which there are tangible items with a concrete form and there are intangible ones passed down through mouth teaching.
In recent years, Tianjin has adhered to the guideline of “putting protection and rescue at first place; practicing rational utilization, inheritance and development”, effectively protecting valuable intangible cultural heritage, promoting cultural heritage and national spirits.
At present stage, there are fifteen types of folk arts listed on State-Level Intangible Cultural Heritage Directory, which include Peking Opera, Baodi Pingju Opera, Tianjin Shidiao Opera, Jingdong Bass Drum, Yangliuqing Spring Festival Woodcut Painting, Zhang’s Clay Figurines, Jinmen Fagu, Hui-Nationality Heavy-Knife Martial Art, Han’gu Cymbal, cross talk, Hebei Bangzi Opera, Pingju Opera, Wei’s kite-making technique, Tianjin Huanghui Fair, so on and so forth.
Apart from this, there are eight people listed as the Representatives and Traditional Bearers of State-Level Intangible Cultural Heritage, including Cao Shijie, inheritor of Hui-Nationality Heavy-Knife Martial Art, Huo Qingshun and Huo Qingyou, folk artists from Xiqing District, Feng Qingju and Wang Wenda, inheritors of Yangliuqing Spring Festival Woodcut Painting, Li Rongwei and Zhang Youlin, renowned Peking Opera artists, and Wang Yubao, famous Tianjin Shidiao Opera artist. There are also thirty items such as Dagu Dragon Lantern and Tianjin Tianhou Religion listed in Municipal-Level Intangible Cultural Heritage Directory.
The abundant intangible cultural heritage items and folk arts are invaluable treasures of the country and symbols of the outstanding intelligence and unique creativity of its people. The intangible cultural heritage should be more effectively protected to allow the traditional culture better inherited, developed and vitalized.