Previews + Extras
Michael Wood joins a million pilgrims at a temple festival in the Chinese countryside to celebrate the myth of the mother-goddess Nüwa and her brother Fuxi, which has been handed down from prehistory. The people tell how the ancestors of the Chinese people Nüwa and Fuxi created humanity- by mixing their own blood with the yellow mud of the Yellow River!
Search for the roots of today’s China with Wood, who joins a family reunion on “Tomb Sweeping Day”; sees the first Chinese writing and the first city; meets the bloodthirsty First Emperor; and travels with a million pilgrims to a country festival.
Michael Wood tells how China’s greatest archaeological discovery started with a packet of over the counter medicine in a traditional Chinese drug store! In 1899, a Chinese scholar called Wang fell ill with malaria but he got more than he bargained for with his prescription! On the ‘dragon bones’, which he had to grind up and drink for his fever, he recognised the earliest Chinese writing!
Michael Wood visits the tomb of Confucius in Qufu. There he meets a visiting group of Korean scholars who perform rituals at the grave and tell us why Confucius is still one of the most important figures in the history of civilization. Then a party of school children say goodbye to Michael with a famous line from Confucius’ book of sayings, one of the best selling books in history.
At the town of Wuxi in the lower Yangtze valley, Michael Wood joins the Qin family as they celebrate the annual festival for the ancestors, a ritual that goes back thousands of years. Banned under the communists such rituals are coming back everywhere in today’s China, as once more the family regains its central place in Chinese culture.
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