Luodai

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The Ancient Town of Luodai, Sichuan

The old town of Luodai in Sichuan Province dates back to the third century. Hakka people make up over 85% of the local population and they still persist in their traditional way of life and customs. For such reasons Luodai is named the "No. 1 Hakka town of western China."

At the end of the 17th century, the population of Sichuan Province fell sharply as a result of wars and natural disasters. The Qing government launched a century-long campaign to move people to Sihcuan from neighboring areas. Gradually, Sichuan got the largest community of Hakkas bound by guildhalls. A guildhall is a symmetrically-organized compound that faces southwards. It usually includes a main hall, wing rooms, an opera stage and a central square.

The Guangdong Guildhall in Luodai, called Nanhua Palace, is the town's landmark building. It was built in 1747 with funds donated by descendants of Hakkas originating in Guangdong Province. In addition, there are the Jiangxi Guildhall and the Huguang Guildhall.

The old town is also for unique Hakka Fire Dragon Dance Festival and Water Dragon Dance Festival.