Treasures of Chengdu

Authors: China Daily


The Jinsha Site Museum reminds visitors of fantastic lanterns and snacks from different parts of the world.
If you mention Jinsha Site Museum in Chengdu, the capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province, local people may think of fantastic lanterns and snacks from different parts of the world.
But for travelers from outside the city, the museum is more about mysterious, unique ancient artifacts.
For Liu Jiaran, a teenager who has attended the annual lantern show at the museum since 2010, Jinsha means lanterns featuring creatures from Chinese mythology and warriors from ancient Rome as well as snacks from Sichuan such as Three Cannon Shots (sandapao).
Lantern show
Speaking about the lantern festival, Liu says: "Visitors are fascinated with the lanterns based on Chinese and foreign mythology. Besides, they can satisfy their food cravings as the lantern show is coupled with a food festival at the 30-hectare museum." The festival features food from different parts of the world, but visitors rush for the time-honored Three Cannon Shots.
First-time visitors to the food festival are usually surprised when they find out that Three Cannon Shots is the name of a centuries-old Sichuan snack.The snack is so called because of the way it is prepared. To make it, three glutinous rice balls are bounced on a table so that they drop into a bamboo container filled with soy flour, creating noises that sound like cannon shots. Then, the balls are mixed with soy flour and a warm brown syrup is poured on them.
"The snack is very tasty," says Dennis Palumbo, a visitor, who is a neurosurgeon from Little Rock, Arkansas, in the United States.
The lantern show and the food festival were initially targeted at the locals, but now people from all parts of the country flock to Jinsha. According to Zhu Zhangyi, the deputy curator of the museum, the lantern show and the food festival drew more than 700,000 visitors from across the country during this year's Spring Festival.
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