Heluo Culture is firstly a regional culture, which is mainly occurred in the joining basin of the Yellow River and the Luo River from remote ages to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It also means Zhongyuan (central plain) Culture with Luoyang as the center in a narrow sense. It includes the Sandai and Dongzhou Culture. Heluo Area centered about Luoyang, west to Tongguan, Huayin, east to Xingyang, Zhengzhou, south to Ruying and north across Yellow River, to the south of Shanxi and Jiyuan. Heluo culture is not only a kind of regional culture but also the most essential factor of the culture of the Chinese nation. Heluo culture which goes back to remote antiquity and continues for a long period of time is splendid, rich, extensive and profound in content and has several obvious cultured characteristics such as origin, tradition, compatibility and distinctiveness. All of these made it occupy a unique position in Chinese history.
Luoyang, sitting on both banks of the middle reaches of the Yellow River of this area, is one of the important cradles of Chinese civilization with profound cultural detail. Represented by "Hetu & Luoshu", the earliest classics of Chinese Culture, the Heluo Culture is honored as "the Ancestor of Human Root and Human Culture". People call it Luoyang only because it lies on the north bank of the Luo River in the Yi-Luo River Basin and can ever obtain the sunlight. It always enjoys names of "Nine States' Hinterland" and "Ten Provinces Thoroughfare".
Archaeological findings along the Yellow River and the Luo Rvier indicate that as early as 5,000 years ago, there were human beings multiplying here. The ancient cultural traditions have brought forth many noted historic figures. The center of Shang activity was initially around Shangqiu in the southeast of the present-day Henan, but after repeated moves the rulers finally settled around Anyang in the present-day Henan. The Zhou had an eastern capital at Luoyi, on the western bank of the Luoshui (present-day Luo River) near the present-day Luoyang in Henan, which formed another center of activity around the lower reaches of the Yihe and Luoshui. The Yi-Luo Plain was both well suited for agriculture, with fertile soil, a mild climate and relatively adequate rainfall. Other natural resources were also fairly abundant there. Large amounts of cultural relics, legends and records have also been preserved in these regions of China.
Luoyang and Kaifeng in the Central Plain are as its capitals. The geography of the North China Plain has had profound cultural and political implications. People in villages on the Loess plateau in Luoyang and Sanmenxia in Henan Province have been living in caves since ancient times. Cave dwellings around a courtyard are a very interesting scene. Having selected a good place, the local people would dig a 100-sq-m qit, dig some caves at the four sides, a tunnel leading to the ground at one side and a well in the center of the pit and build up low walls at the four sides. The courtyard cave dwelling is warm in winter, cool in summer and rain and wind proof. The pits of different families are close to each other. When you are at the boundary line of the village, you will be surprised to hear cocks crow and dogs bark because you don't see any houses and people. Here it beds the propogation of luoyang's folk culture which can be known about during fairs and festivals held from time to time among local people.
The "temple fair" (Miao Hui), originated along with the development of Buddhist and Taoist activities began as groups of vendors who did business near temples when many pilgrims came to pay tribute to the gods during traditional festivals. The practice grew, gradually turning into a regular event. Temple fairs are a kind of mass gatherings that integrate religious worship, entertainment and commerce. Now temple fairs are an important and joyful destination for Luoyang local people.
In traditional temple fairs around Luoyang, there are performances and booths demonstrating and selling traditional arts and crafts. The fairs have lots of games to play, food to eat, performances and lots of people. In the temple fair you can taste numerous kinds of local snacks, court food and other dishes. Most temple fairs feature dragon and lion dances, waist drum dancing, lotus blossom fairy dances, ground and clam dancing as well as other folk performances, and some even stage traditional wedding ceremonies. In rural areas, the temple fair is an excellent opportunity to capture some color in an otherwise fairly drab country.