The 2022 Xiangshan 30°N Citrus Festival kicked off in Banbian Mountain on the morning of November 16th. The opening ceremony was also jointly held to officially launch citrus-plucking in Dingtang Town, Xiaotang Township and Gaotang Island Township, where the “Red Beauty”, a premium variety of citrus fruit, grows abundantly. The event was organised by the Xiangshan County Government of the People's Republic of China, Ningbo's Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Areas and the Ningbo Supply and Marketing Co-operative Association.
Kozinets Ivan and Daria Privalova, two Russian students, currently studying at Ningbo University, had tasted “Red Beauty” before, but it was their first time visiting citrus-producing regions and the festival. They were captivated by the spectacular display of distinctive intangible cultural heritage products at the ceremony in Dingtang Town. Farmers’ paintings celebrating their rural life were in unique styles and vibrant colors; cute “Red Beauty” blessing sachets left Daria dazzled and eager to try a hands-on experience in making one with the help of an intangible cultural inheritor; delicate stone paintings depicting local apples and “Red Beauty” also impressed them deeply.
“It’s incredibly tasty!” Daria picked and peeled the “Red Beauty” from the trees, and the juices burst onto her hands. “Slightly sour, but I love it!” These two international students then experienced the trade of prosperous markets from the past, strolling along the floating market where many boats were loaded with full blossoming flowers and fresh fruits. Here they boarded a speedboat to the “Red Beauty” greenhouse and plucked fruits under the guidance of local farmers. “Luscious fruits and entertaining activities! I had no idea Xiangshan was home to so much great intangible cultural heritage. Many inheritors are ordinary people but they are very professional indeed!” Ivan smiled.
A total area of 2,333 hectares of land is known to serve Xiangshan “Red Beauty” plantation this year, expecting to yield 18,000 metric tons in 1,600 hectares of planting area. In fact, orders had been placed from all over the country prior to the festival. On November 11th (China’s online shopping extravaganza), Alibaba Digital County, in collaboration with Ningbo Supply and Marketing of Agricultural Products E-commerce Limited, assisted farmers in livestreaming “Red Beauty”, registering record pre-sales of over 25,000kg and a sales revenue of over 1 million yuan. “Gaolaodie” fruits and vegetables specialty cooperative in Gaotang Island Township, Xiangshan, sold 4.5 million yuan of “Red Beauty” last year and has received a third of the cash order this year. “This year our ‘Red Beauty’ tastes better, and its sales will boom!” Gao Zeng, director of the specialty cooperative, asserted.