The earliest beauty of spring flowers! Come to Zhongshan Park to watch the Spring Festival.

In order to enrich the cultural life of citizens and tourists and set off the festive atmosphere, Zhongshan Park will hold a series of cultural activities for the Spring Festival. The flower shows in Tanghuawu and Huifang Garden will open to welcome guests, and citizens can also enjoy the earliest beautiful spring flowers in the dead of winter.

A traditional flower boutique exhibition with the theme of "Longteng Shengshi" has met with citizens and tourists in Tanghuawu. More than 70 varieties and more than 1,000 pots of various flowers and plants appear at the same time, and visitors can enjoy the unique charm of spring flowers and winter appreciation.

It is reported that in addition to the special flowers for controlling the flowering period in the park, such as plum blossom, peach blossom, rhododendron, bauhinia and Xifu begonia, there are also festive flowers such as Zhu Dinghong, Cymbidium grandiflorum, giant pumpkin, North American holly and autumn fruit-viewing plants, which are matched with foliage-viewing plants such as dragon’s blood tree and bird’s nest fern, so that visitors can see the four-season flowers with different shapes and charms at one time. In addition, in recent years, the newly cultivated and trial-produced wisteria and Jiexiang in Zhongshan Park will achieve the best display effect, providing different flower viewing experiences for citizens and tourists.

During the Spring Festival, in the quaint and elegant Huifang Garden, the "Four Seasons Fragrance" Beijing Celebrity Orchid and Chunlan Exhibition also welcomes citizens and tourists. More than 90 kinds and more than 200 pots of famous orchids, such as Chunlan and Chunjian, cultivated in Zhongshan Park are exhibited in the exhibition.

Orchids are elegant and fragrant, and Zhongshan Park has a long history of orchid cultivation and a unique orchid culture. Here, citizens and tourists can enjoy the famous orchids such as Haiyan Qi Fei, Hutoulan with Red Tongue, Chunlan, Longzi, Wangzi and Satisfied with Sumei.

In addition, in order to create a "prosperous New Year" flavor, Zhongshan Park has set up five landscape sketches outside Sanmen District and Xitan Gate. In the south gate, the theme scene of "Holding Yang and Ningrui" takes the IP "rumbling" of the Year of the Dragon as the main body of the installation, and combines traditional sectors, lanterns, windmills and other elements to set off a auspicious and peaceful atmosphere of the New Year. The auspicious theme of the Year of the Dragon in the East Gate and the theme of "Happy Plum Blossoms" and "Long Life" in the West Gate are mixed with various traditional China elements, expressing the beautiful New Year wishes to tourists.

Source Beijing Daily Client | Reporter Ren Shan Cheng Gong

Editor Hu Decheng

Liu Weili, Process Editor

Reporting/feedback

From "Border War" to "National Entertainment": How Rugby Became the First Sport in America

"border war"

On August 30th, 1856, a fierce battle broke out in the small town of Sabato, Kansas, USA. The warring parties were neither white men and Indians, nor Jiang Yang thieves and local people, but abolitionists from the north and militia from Missouri, a slave-holding state in the south. About 400 heavily armed Missouri militiamen attacked this small town guarded by the famous abolitionist leader John Brown. Being outnumbered, john brown and the abolitionists finally had to retreat, and Mr. Sabato was also looted. The incident became a microcosm of the Kansas Civil War.

In 1854, the US Congress passed the kansas-nebraska act, allowing Kansas and Nebraska to decide whether to join the United States of America as a "free state" or a "slave state" by referendum. This is tantamount to the abolition of the Missouri compromise in fact, which intensified the contradiction between the north and the south on the issue of slavery.

After that, a large number of abolitionists from the north and southerners who advocated the maintenance of slavery flooded into Kansas, hoping to win the referendum by means of large-scale immigration in the short term. Under the tense atmosphere, a series of violent conflicts broke out between the two sides of the contradiction, which eventually led to a Kansas version of the "civil war." This mini-war, known as "bloody Kansas", is often regarded by later generations as a prelude to the American Civil War or a scaled-down version of the Civil War. In January 1861, after this bloody baptism, Kansas finally joined the Union as a free state. However, only three months later, the Civil War officially started. At the beginning of the war, out of revenge, a group of Kansas militia named Jayhawks attacked and looted several towns in Missouri. Later, a local armed force calling itself "Fighting Tigers" rose in Missouri to confront it. As a result, the two sides continued their hatred since "bloody Kansas" on the battlefield.

In May 1865, the Civil War officially ended. Nearly 30 years after the smoke of the Civil War dispersed, the blood feud between Kansas and Missouri did not dissipate, and even found a new battlefield to prolong the old hatred and renew the new hatred. On Halloween in 1891, the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri met head-on in an American Football game. Coincidentally, the names of these two college teams are "Kansas Jayhawks" and "Missouri Tigers". In this extremely fierce game, the University of Kansas won by 22-10, which seemed to swear that it was the winner of the civil war again, while the University of Missouri, which was unwilling, stubbornly continued to challenge. Therefore, the two teams agreed to have a contest every year. In the end, this football game not only became a competition between two universities, but also became an honor struggle between two states. The football match between "Jieying" and "Tiger" was even called "Border War" because of the hot and even explosive atmosphere. Since 1891, this "border war" has been fought for 120 years, and it was not until the University of Missouri announced its departure from the "Big 12 Conference" in 2011 that it called a truce. In the final year of the competition, the University of Missouri crushed the University of Kansas 24-10.Revenge for one’s ancestors. During these 120 years, this football game has become a projection of the political, military and historical disputes between the two States.

The "border war" between "Jieying" and "Tiger" lasted for 120 years.

Transformation of American football

George Carlin, a famous American comedian, once described the war metaphor of American football in a famous paragraph: "Baseball is a pastime game in the 19th century, while rugby is a tit-for-tat for industrialization in the 20th century; When you watch baseball, you will feel like going to a picnic, while when you watch football, you will want to kill your opponent at least 27 times. The goal of rugby is clear, and all actions revolve around the Quarterback, the’ battlefield general’. He has to observe the enemy lines and launch a surprise attack, find his catcher in the chaotic army and pass the ball accurately. He must lead an army into enemy territory and try his best to tear a hole in the enemy’s defense line! "

In the world of American football, especially college football, similar and tense feuds are everywhere, and even become one of the biggest selling points of the game, attracting the attention of the whole state and the whole country. For example, the football confrontation between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma is called "Red River Showdown", because in 1931, the National Guard of Texas and Oklahoma had a gun battle over the ownership of a bridge across the Red River between the two States. The feud between the University of Michigan and Ohio University can be traced back to the conflict between the two States around the border demarcation in 1835. Since 1897, the fighting between the two schools on behalf of the two States on the football field has become the most wonderful, intense and even tragic rivalry in the history of North American sports. Before and after the game, Ohio will hold "Beat Michigan Week". On the day before the 2006 World War II, Bo Schembechler, the meritorious coach of the University of Michigan, died of a heart attack. After that, every year before the Ohio University, the University of Michigan will play Bo Schembechler’s cry "Team!" before his death. Team! Team! " (The Team! The Team! The Team! ) to boost morale.

The reason why American college football has become the carrier of American social tradition and even national hatred is closely related to its development and evolution to some extent. In the eyes of many foreigners, American football players seem to be all rough and tough men with big arms and round waist, developed limbs and mostly simple minds. However, American football was originally popular in college campuses all over the United States as elite and intellectual sports. In fact, even today, all professional players who participate in the National Football League need to take an IQ test before they can qualify. At the beginning of American football’s popularity in universities in the 19th century, it happened that the movement of "Physical Christianity" was in the ascendant. This Christian faction, which originated in England, advocates that sports can not only exercise the physique, but also improve the spiritual character of Christians. And a strong Christian is a symbol of God’s glory. Influenced by it, a very important task of YMCA is to advocate young people to actively participate in sports. The rapid popularity of American football in American universities also relies on the east wind of "strong Christianity" and "YMCA", and also provides religious legitimacy for hot-blooded college students to participate in such intense and even violent sports. As a social elite, college students have naturally become spokesmen and defenders of historical traditions in various States and regions.

In 1869, Princeton University and Rutgers College played the first American football game in history. As a sport born out of rugby, American football is even more intense, and college students are injured and even killed because of the game. In 1905, as many as 18 famous college students were injured and died in the competition, which became a major news in the United States at that time and alarmed then President theodore roosevelt. As a "progressive", Roosevelt Sr. issued a statement demanding that the rules of American football must be revised to ensure the safety of players, and young people who should be the pillars of the country should not be allowed to die in vain on the court. In the end, the rules of American football changed decisively-players were allowed to pass the ball forward instead of passing it back or flat like rugby, which gradually transformed the sport into what it is today.

Athletes singing hymns, taken in the gymnasium of YMCA Training School in Massachusetts, USA in 1909.

"national entertainment"

Although as early as the 1920s, professional football games, represented by the National Football League (NFL), appeared, but their commercialization was not high. In contrast, baseball, which has been professional and commercialized as early as the 19th century, is the "first sport" for citizens and workers. At that time, many professional football teams were "attached" to professional baseball clubs. Until today, people familiar with American sports can easily find many football teams and baseball teams with the same names, such as Giants, Cardinals, Redskins, Pirates and so on. In addition, quite a few early professional American football teams were actually in a "semi-professional" state, and players had other businesses besides playing. For example, the old team with a long history-"Green Bay Packer" is a team composed of local paper packers, which started with a sponsorship fee of $500 from the boss. Later, in order to ensure the normal operation of the team, the packers turned to issue the team’s shares to local residents, and finally let the team continue to this day in the form of "crowdfunding", even in the league.

In fact, until the eve of World War II, the campus elite label of American football remained unchanged, and most professional players were also graduates from universities, including many famous schools such as Ivy League. Many of the stars of universities or professional teams in those days later became world-famous politicians and social elites, and even entered the White House. Former US President Ford was once the star center of the University of Michigan. During the two years from 1932 to 1933, he not only helped the school achieve unbeaten results in the season, but also witnessed the epic battle between his alma mater and Ohio University. After graduating from college, Ford was recruited by professional scouts. After rejecting the invitation of Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions, he went to law school to continue his studies and enter politics.

Byron White, one of the most important justices in the history of the United States Supreme Court in the 20th century, was the absolute main force and the star of the football team of his alma mater, Colorado State University. In 1937, he was even selected as the best team of college football in the United States, leaving more than ten competitive records on the field during his school days. In the second year after graduation, White went to the Pittsburgh Pirates (later the famous Pittsburgh Steelers) to play a professional game for one year. After winning the Best Newcomer Award with the highest rookie salary, White "hung up his boots" and went to Oxford University to study law. However, due to the outbreak of the European War, he had to return to China and transfer to Yale Law School. While studying at Yale, White also took time off to participate in professional competitions, played for Detroit Lions in 1940 and 1941, and finally became the record holder of "the longest charge". In 1942, White was drafted into the U.S. Navy and ended his football career. In 1962, the former football star became a Supreme Court Justice at the age of 44.

Byron White

After the end of World War II, especially after the popularization of television, rugby finally ushered in its own commercialization opportunity. Because the NFL was still an emerging professional sports league at that time, it was more willing to embrace such an emerging product as TV broadcasting. As early as 1848, the normalized broadcast of football matches began to appear on TV. Throughout the 1950s, ABC, NBC and CBS began to broadcast important NFL games one after another, and the broadcasting fee for championship games has reached a million dollars. The NFL, which has tasted the sweetness, is even willing to modify the schedule and rules for TV broadcast to enhance the viewing as much as possible and attract more viewers.

First of all, in order to ensure the visibility of the game and avoid the disparity between teams, the TV broadcasting rights of NFL are negotiated by the league as a whole with major TV networks, and the broadcasting fees obtained are shared equally by all teams, thus ensuring the relative balance of financial resources of each team. Therefore, many Americans jokingly call the NFL a "communist" professional sports league. Secondly, in order to cooperate with the prime time of TV viewing at night, NFL became the first professional sports league to change the important game from afternoon to evening for the first time, and created the tradition of professional sports night games.

Prior to this, Major League Baseball’s important games were usually held on weekend afternoons. After that, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football became the trump cards of ratings. In 1967, the American Football Confederation and the original National Football League merged to form a new NFL, and then a new annual championship event, Super Bowl, was established.

As a result, the "Super Bowl" quickly became the highest-rated TV program in the United States and lasted for a long time. Since 1991, the ratings of "Super Bowl" have remained above 40%, and the ratings have been stable above 45% since 2010. In 2016, the audience of the 50th Super Bowl in the United States reached 167 million, and the advertising fee per second reached an astonishing $5 million, almost 118 times that of the 1st Super Bowl in 1967. The "Super Bowl" halftime show has become the biggest stage for American performing stars to dream about. During the 50 years when the "Super Bowl" economy flourished, professional American football finally replaced professional baseball and became the most popular and commercially valuable sports game in the United States.

Similarly, in order to attract more audiences, the venue of the "Super Bowl" is not the home of the two champion teams, but the third place chosen in advance. In the view of NFL management, this arrangement is to show that the "Super Bowl" is a national holiday, not a special welfare that residents of the cities where the two teams are located can enjoy, making it a veritable "national entertainment".

(This article was published in Wenhui Scholar on February 3rd. The original title was From "Border War" to "National Entertainment": American Football Past and Present, which was reprinted by The Paper with authorization. Now the title and subtitle are drawn up by the editor. )

The Historical Meaning of Civilization and Its Contemporary Enlightenment

[Excerpts from arguments]

He Zhonghua wrote in the 6th issue of China Social Sciences in 2023 that "civilization" and "culture" can be used in a broad sense. In the early days of human civilization, people’s self-centeredness is a common cultural and psychological phenomenon, but the symbol of civilization maturity lies in the sublation of this self-centeredness. The existence of human beings is transcendent, and the positive interaction between human individuals and classes makes human civilization evolve in an accelerated way. The anthropological ontological paradox of the division between human physical existence and spiritual existence has its own manifestations in both eastern and western civilizations. The modernity shaped by western civilization exists the paradox of civilization and barbarism and the hegemony of "pseudo-universality". From a long period of history, the focus of human civilization is constantly shifting with different historical opportunities, and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will profoundly affect the new pattern of civilization in the 21st century. Universal communication of human beings is an important condition for the development of civilization, and mutual learning of civilizations is helpful for different nationalities to make their own unique contributions to the overall progress of human civilization.

Guangming Daily (11th edition, September 15th, 2023)

Source: Guangming Net-Guangming Daily