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Home >> Beijing travel guide >> Why the "Capital City" is again called "Spring Brightness"?

Why the "Capital City" is again called "Spring Brightness"?

Perhaps you've learned that some people call the "Capital City", for example Beijing as the "Spring Brighrness" or "Chunming" in Chinese. Actually, the "Spring Brightness" being used to substitute the expression of "capital city", "imperial city" or "national capital" has gone over a long time in history.

To make it clear, it must be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). At that time, the middle of the eastern city gate of the capital city Chang'an, was then known as "Chunming" and ever since, quite some literati and men of letters of ensuing dynasties used the expression "Chunming" as a substitute for the "capital city". For instance, a book entitled the "Notes after imperial audience in capital city", known im Chinese Romanization as "Chunming Tuichaolu" written by Song Minqiu of the Song Dynasty and "Aftermath of a dream in capital city" by Sun Chengze of the Qing Dynasty, known in Chinese Romanization as "Chunming Mengyulu", the contents of the two books being all about the figures and scenic attractions in the capital city.

After the 1911 Revolution, the expression "Chunming" or "Spring Brightness" was still used as a substitute for the capital city-Beijing. The "Informal Record of the Capital City" or known as "Chunming Waishi", a novel by Zhang Henshui, and the "New History of the Capital City" or known as "Chunming Xinshi" all depict the stories taking place in the capital city of Beijing. Deng Cuiying, a lieutenant in the headquarters of the National Army under the command of General Feng Yuxiang once ran a girla' middle school in Beijing and it was called the "Girls' School in Chunming". Still more, a restaurant by the side of the then "Central Park" which is now known as Zhongshan Park was named "Chunming Guan" or "Shanglin Chun". "Chunming Guan" means "restaurant in the capital city" and "Shanglin" srands for "imperial garden".

Autographed by Qianlong, "A Clear Fine Day Snowscape in Western Hills" constitutes one of the "Eight Scenic Attractions in Yanjing". And on the backside of the stele is a poem by him to echo the inscription at the front, the first sentence of it being "On the hill a smart scene sets off the scenery in Chunming". In the sentence, the expression "Smart Scene" and "Chunming" or the "Spring Brightness" set off each other, implying that "A Clear Fine Day Snowscape in Western Hills" is one of the "Eight Scenic Attractions in Yanjing" in the capital city.

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