The Juntai Festival is a major historical event that took place during the reign of Xia Qi. After Xia Qi destroyed the Youhu Clan, he gathered the leaders of the local states in the capital city of Yangzhai (present-day Yuzhou City, Henan Province) and held a grand sacrifice to the gods, and it was also an important alliance of the states.
This alliance established the status of Xia Qi as the “common master” and started the “family world” in our history.
The Enjoyment of Juntai
Legend has it that when Yao and Shun were tribal leaders, there was a huge flood in the Yellow River basin, and the land was inundated with water, making life very difficult for the people.
Yao sent Father Jiu to control the flood, but Father Jiu used the method of blocking the pads to control the flood for nine years without success. Shun sent Father Jiu’s son, Yu, to control the flood, and Yu summed up the lessons of his father’s flood control, and “worked hard, lived outside for 13 years, and did not dare to enter the house”. He finally cured the flood by “thin clothing and food”, “humble the palace”, “put the fee in the ditch” (Shiji – Xia Benji), and adopted a diversionary approach. Soon after, he forced Shun to give up the throne to himself by force and became the head of the Xia tribal alliance.
According to historical records, Yu divided the world into nine states, divided the inhabitants into nine regions according to geography, and collected tribute. In order to strengthen his rule, he also formulated penal laws, set up prisons, armies and other public authorities, and initially established a slave system of state power.
The Enjoyment of Juntai
After the death of Yu, his son Qi succeeded him to the throne. The chief of the Eastern Yi tribe, Bo Yi, and Kai’s clan with the same surname, the You Hu clan, rose in rebellion under the pretext of preserving old traditions. He conquered them by force, killed Bo Yi, and punished the Youhu clan as herdsmen.
After the destruction of the Youhu clan, Qi decided to consolidate the kingship and establish a hereditary throne in order to abolish the traditional system of tribal cession. So he gathered all the local leaders in the capital city of Yangzhai and held a grand sacrifice to the gods, which was also an important alliance of all the states, known as “Juntai’s enjoyment”. This alliance established the status of Xia Qi as the “common lord”, and the change from a system of meditation to a family system was realized.
Zuo Zhuan – The Fourth Year of Duke Zhaogong (Zuo Zhuan – The Fourth Year of Duke Zhaogong) records: “Xia Qi had the Juntai heng.” Du notes: “In the south of Yangzhai County, south of the river, there is Juntai Pei.”
The original site of Juntai is in the east peak of Sanfeng Mountain in the south of Yuzhou City, adjacent to the Ying Water. According to the “Water Classic”, “The water (i.e., Ying water) passes through Sanfeng Mountain to the east and passes through Daling West to the southeast, where there is a divination pavilion on the tomb, and the gods are revealed on the tomb, i.e., Juntai. Later, after the war, the ancient Juntai has been lost.
In 1699, the governor Yu Guobi rebuilt the ancient Juntai in the northwest corner of Yuzhou City. It was rebuilt once more during the Guangxu period of the Qing Dynasty. The shape of the ancient Juntai is slightly rectangular, with a north to south seat and a brick and stone structure. There is a vaulted doorway in the center, which passes through from north to south. The upper part of the arch is inscribed with the words “Ancient Juntai”, and there is a brick carved couplet embedded on both sides of the cave door: “The name began in summer, and the ancient name was ascended to several platforms. There was a pavilion hall built on the platform, which was destroyed in the Republic of China.
Because of its age and disrepair, in 1991 the People’s Government of Yuzhou City rebuilt the ancient Juntai at its original location. The reconstructed ancient Juntai is wider than before and has a similar shape. The pavilion hall on the platform is a double-heavy eaves and two dripping water palace-style antique building, supported by 24 vermillion pillars, red pillars and yellow tiles, transparent windows and doors, and surrounded by green stone carved railings on all sides. As a whole, the ancient Juntai looks ancient, simple and elegant, and magnificent.
Ancient Juntai is a landmark ancient building of Yuzhou and a symbol of Yuzhou city. It was announced as a county-level cultural relics protection unit by the People’s Government of Yuxian County in 1958, and in 2008, it became a cultural relics protection unit of Henan Province.