Though the city is nowhere near as glamorous as Beijing or Shanghai the entertainment options in Fuzhou are similar to that in any large Chinese city, featuring western style bars, bustling KTVs, cafes and concert halls where traditional performances are staged. In addition, the city is home to numerous festivals and markets throughout the year.
The bars mainly centre on the areas of Jiangjun Temple, Liuyi Lu and Dong Jie Kou, where venues such as 123 Bar, Red Mill Bar, Happy Channel China Town and the 23 Disco Club provide cocktails and music to locals and visitors alike. More traditional forms of entertainment can be experienced at the numerous concert halls and performance venues.
There is a form of story-telling performance called Pinghua which is native to the dialect area of Fuzhou, the east and north of Fujian province and to Taiwan. Pinghua developed in the later Qing dynasty; stories are drawn from legends, novels and traditional tales. There is a great deal of ceremony surrounding the Fuzhou Pinghua performances: the actors enter the stage to sounds of a salute being fired, a table laid with various foods (cakes and fruit usually) is placed in the centre and the actors sit on benches and seats carefully placed around the stage. The performances feature both solo and antiphonal singing, and usually take place in tea houses and performance halls.
Also popular in Fuzhou is Min Opera, which has evolved into its own unique branch of Chinese Opera, and is heavily based in Fujian dialect. It's quite rough, ready and loud which makes it easy for non-Fuzhou speakers to join the fun, though younger residents no longer find it popular and the number of theaters staging the performances are dwindling. During festivals and holidays, Min Operas are staged in Wuyi Square.
Fuzhou celebrates an interesting calendar of festivals, chief amongst which are the Kitchen God's Day in winter and the Midwinter Festival, both of which revolve around food and family - two important aspects of Fuzhou culture.
Outside the Fuzhou International Exhibition Center, there are nightly performances of music and entertainment shows on the Pyramid Music Square. The largest night-market in Fuzhou is the Antai Zhongxin, and daytime shopping is most fun at Wusi Lu, Wuyi Lu or Tijiang Lu.
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