Home>Cicheng Culture>Filiality Culture

Filiality Culture

The most salient and distinguished folklore culture of Cicheng is the filiality culture.

The filiality culture of Cicheng originated from the story of Dong the filial son. For the past 1700 years, his memorable story has been evolved, derived, diffused, and woven with the folklore ideology. As time passes, the story of Dong the filial son has become the ethical model of Ningbo and even the whole eastern Zhejiang Province.

Dong, together with Zhang Wuzhe in the Tang Dynasty and Sun Zhihan in the Song Dynasty were regarded as the “the three filials”, whose deeds impacted the society enormously. Cicheng was hence titled “the town of the three filials”. Presently, the filiality culture sites are still well preserved: Ancestral Temple of Zhang on Sanming Street, Dong’s Brook by the Lake Ci, the Filiality Well, Cixi Bridge and many others.

During the centuries-long development, Cicheng’s filiality culture has taken physical shape, as can be traced from the naming of rivers and streets. The north lake and south river are called Lake Ci and River Ci. (Ci means filiality) The original name “Gouzhang” was renamed as “Cicheng” (i.e. filiality city). In addition, there are Cishui River, Dong’s Brook and etc.

More importantly, Cicheng’s filiality culture has inherited the Confucian tradition of “the loving parents and the filial children” which stresses the reciprocal relationship between parents and children. The parents of Cicheng’s filial children were benevolent nurturers. They never embarrassed their children, let alone wrecking their health.

Influenced by Dong the filial son, filiality and benevolence are readily manifested in Cicheng’s filiality culture. Countless filial deeds were recorded in the county records, rendering the saying “three thousands filial children”. Inherited from the Confucian tradition, the filiality culture has permeated into every corner of the society, which shaped the unique Cicheng folklore culture.

Enormous efforts have been made in protecting Cicheng’s filiality culture. In 2008, Cicheng was nominated as the first “Hometown of Filiality Culture in China”.