On October 17 (the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese calendar), the “caring for and appreciating the elderly on Double Ninth Festival” activity was launched at T3 of the Capital International Airport. The purpose was to inherit and develop the Chinese traditional virtues of filial piety and fraternal respectfulness in a series of both dynamic and static forms such as cultural representation, live performance and interactive experience.
The figure “99” implies “forever” and “good health and a long life”. Early in 1989, this day was designated as the “Senior Citizens’ Day”, with the purpose of advocating the morality of respecting, caring for, loving and helping the elderly in the whole society. On May 20, 2006, the Double Ninth Festival was selected into the first batch of National Intangible Cultural Heritage List by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. As “the first gateway to China”, the Capital International Airport keeps innovating itself amid inheritance. On the Double Ninth Festival this year, it continued the cultural concept of combining Chinese traditional culture with its own characteristics and seeking innovation amid inheritance. The cultural activity with the theme of “caring for and appreciating the elderly” was an artistic feast for passengers to improve their traveling experience.
In the Departure Hall of T3, the site of the activity, a series of wonderful performances such as the baduanjin (eight silken movements), tai chi (shadowboxing), drum song of Peking and poetry recitation on filial piety and rites were staged, presenting a pure visual and aural delight to passengers. Among them, the baduanjin, honored as the magic guidance technique, was displayed at the Capital International Airport for the first time. The performer lunged forward as if shooting an eagle, shook his head and legs, with both feet widely open, delicately performing the transformation between abstraction and specification and the changes in postures with natural and smooth gestures and motions. Tai chi has been selected as national intangible cultural heritage, which, based on the philosophy of the forces of yin and yang and five elements and coupling hardness with softness, emphasizes both internal and external training. Specially, national senior tai chi master Qiu Jiadong was invited to the site, bringing an upsurge of experiencing the tai chi among both domestic and foreign passengers. Tai chi played a role of a bridge and link for cultural communication between the east and the west as well as an important carrier to spread Chinese culture. The performance of drum song of Peking was a new climax. Its unique voices and sentimental spoken parts attracted many people to follow. A number of passengers stopped to appreciate and one song seemed far from enough for them. The drum song of Peking was selected into the second batch of National Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2008.
Children from the Preschool Education Center of Beijing Capital Airport Property Management Co., Ltd presented the poetry recitation on filial piety and rites. These children recited ancient poems skillfully with rich feelings to promote Chinese traditional virtue of caring for and appreciating the elderly. Child passengers were also attracted to join them, winning a lot of applauses. After the performance, children presented their DIY chongyang cakes and greeting cards to passengers, delivering good blessings and the spirit of love.
Passenger experience was a new emphasis, aiming to enhance the sense of experience and gain of passengers. There were “Expressions of the Heart” mailboxes in the departure halls of T1 and T2, where passengers could write down their sincere words to their family/love/friends on the postcards and send them. There was a large floor piano in the Departure Hall of T2, where professional teachers played the piano in pairs with their feet as if they were dancing in the melodious sounds; passengers all recorded short videos of their on-site experience and posted them on Moments to remember this great moment. In the Departure Hall of T3, passengers experienced braiding bracelets and making lapel ornaments with dogwood; “braided buckles on my clothes, a mess in my mind”, these exquisitely braided buckles are “traditional symbols blooming on cheongsams”, occupying a significant position in the development history of Chinese costumes. More than fixers on the lapels, they are symbols of beauty, containing the natural and plain sentiment as well as the pursuit for a beautiful life. It demonstrated the beauty of Chinese traditional costumes to both domestic and foreign passengers. It is customary to climb high mountains on the Double Ninth Festival. The main stage of the activity was a large 3D picture, where passengers could “climb high and look far” to celebrate the festival. They could make use of different angles to shoot photos as if they were on the way climbing the mountain and appreciating pine trees. They could also print these photos for free on the site.
In recent years, the Capital International Airport has been actively promoting Chinese traditional culture and demonstrating our cultural confidence through a series of cultural forms at Chinese traditional festivals, trying to demonstrate the traditional culture at “the first gateway to China” and tell “Chinese stories” in an innovative way. All these have further consolidated the basis for building a cultural airport and laid a solid foundation for the Capital International Airport to benchmark the international cultural brand. Later, the Capital International Airport will roll out a series of interactive cultural feasts to inherit the profound Chinese culture, deliver the wholehearted service philosophy, consolidate our national cultural confidence and set up a new benchmark of Chinese service based on wholehearted service!