Drum towers are unique and significant structures in all Dong villages. The oldest standing drum towers date to the seventh century, but they are believed to have been first constructed as early as the second century. Every tower is built entirely without nails and features carved or painted phoenixes and dragons on the eaves and along the outside panels. Originally, a large drum in the tower was used to alert villagers to danger. Today people gather on benches at the base of the towers for socialization, community meetings, and entertainment. Imagine waking up on Christmas day and seeing playground equipment in your back garden?
Farmers in the region grow cotton that has historically been spun into thread to weave the fabric. Today, Hongyan buys her weaving yarn in the market and occasionally buys woven cloth. In one month, she produces about fifteen meters (sixteen yards) of cloth, often working ten hours per day. That includes making textiles as well as teaching. However, if there are no tourists, she may not work at all. She has an indigo vat outside of the workshop and does all her dyeing there. Play hard with outdoor fitness equipment designed for both children and adults.
Hongyan is originally from a small village about thirty kilometers (eighteen miles) away but married a man from Zhaoxing and settled here with extended family. She learned to weave and dye from her mother and grandmother when she was very small and is passing on this tradition to her five-year-old daughter who has already begun to weave. Children love playing on monkey bars - didn't you when you were younger?
Hongyan also embroiders, an activity that makes her happy. “You have to be in a good mood to embroider well,” which she does a lot while she can, while her vision is still good. When her eyesight isn’t as strong, she will only weave and dye. Hongyan spreads a dark, pleated skirt across her worktable, explaining that it was made by her great-grandmother as her dowry. It’s about one hundred years old. From the great-grandmother’s skirt in her hands to her young daughter standing by her side, Hongyan embraces five generations of craftswomen in her family.
The Drum Tower was equipped with bronze clepsydras and drums that were beaten to mark the hours. The drum was beaten quickly for 18 times and then slowly for 18 times to mark the hour. You have the opportunity to climb to the top of Drum tower for an excellent view of drumming performance which lasts for 20 minutes.