The ancient names for Kinmen include WuZhou,XienZhou,WuJiang etc. in the Ming dynasty,the21th year of Empire HongWu(1388),Zhou,DeXin,the marquis of JiangXia,established a thousand-of-households and formed the township in Kinmen.
Kinmen or Quemoy refers to a group of islets lying at approximately 24°N latitude and 118° longitude in affiliation with the Euroasian continent,
Under the jurisdiction of Fujian Province, these islands are situated in a key position on the sea, facing west to the entrance of the Xiamen (Amoy) Bay in the mainland and separated from Taiwan proper on the east across the Taiwan Straits.
Therefore, Kinmen is also called "The Gibralta in Asia." The territory of Kinmen covers 15 big and small islands, including Kinmen proper, Leiyu, Dadan, Erdan, with a total area of 150 square kilometers. Under the influence of ocean in a subtropical monsoon climate, it registers high humidity with an average temperature of 21.1℃.
Scenery of Battles Zone
Kinmen has been a battles zone for more than fifty years. Not until the end of 1992 when the martial law was lifted,has kinmen stepped into new era of tourism industry. In this beginning of the 21th century,when thedirect marine transportations between kinmen and Xiamen started,kinmen once again became the key role for cross-strait interaction.
During the combat readiness period,Kinmen’s infrastructure was built in the cooperation both of local residents and soldiers. Including parks,reservoirs,housings and roads,all the facilities characteristic of battles zone were accomplished.
These facilities therefore become precious tourism resources today. Sunset glow in front of the JuGuang Building,beautiful sunset scenery of citi(Ci Dike),early mist in ZhongZheng Park,dense and green shadows of banyan trees in RongYuan,magnificent views of underground defense facility,solemn and respectful coastline defense and camouflage facilities,all the above have become monuments for the Cold War and historical sites worth seeing for visitors.
Culture of Southern Min Province
Residents in Southern Min Province belong to the Han race. Its language,religious belief,folk customs,and temple worship have preserved many of the han’s regulations and institutions. The Kinmen’s traditional residential houses,belief of the god of Wind-Lion,ancestors’shrine and temples,as well as folk activities,all thess characteristic of southern Min Province’s cultural.
The Kinmen’s traditional' housing is generally called “Kinmen Ancient House”. These ancient houses mostly retained the southern Fujian architecture in the Zhangzhou and Quanzhou styles and are characteristic of swallowtail(Qiao-Ji)and horseback ridges(Yuan-Ji)
Long-tern political chaos and civil wars in the past had consumed most of the woods in the island. In the autumn and winter,strong northeast monsoons always lead to severe damage,lay farm fields waste,ruin buildings and make this island inhospitable. Therefore people in Kinmen invoked the protection of God of Wind-Lion in order to ward off the “evil spirits”. Different styles of the God of Wind-Lion,located in the periphery of the village,are treated as “Guards of kinmen folklores”.
Ancestors’shrines,also named “Zu-Cuo”or “Ci-Tang”,are places for Kinmen folks to worship the memorial tablets on which inscribed ancestors’names. There definitely will be more than one family shrine in any kinmen traditional communities.
Temples in Kinmen are mostly called as “Gong”or “Gong-Miao”. In Kinmen,most of the people believe in “Buddhism” which combines Shi,Ru(Confucianism) and Dao (Taoism). Except for new one,most communities have at least one temple and have their own routine religious activities. Among these religious activities, “Welcoming the Justice in Hades”dated on April 12th in lunar calendar. Also the Birthday of Goddess MaZhu dated on March 23rd is the main worship activities for fishermen communities.
The natural ecological environmental in Kinmen is well protected under severe military control and owns white sandy shore,clear water,blue sky and hard rocks with variety shapes. In 1950s,islanders started to planted trees to beautify this island,covered the land with shadows of trees,and decorated roads with flowers. The beautiful and pleasant scenery earned Kinmen as “Park in the sea”.
Kinmen located in the southeastern coast of Mainland China,and is almost the only route must be passed by migrant birds. In recent years,when civil war across-straits appeased,plenty of foods,such as wheat in spring,sorghum in autumn,fishes,shrimps,and mussels along the coastline,have made Kinmen a paradise for various kinds of migrand birds.
Geology, position, ecology
In these years,under government’s promotion of the ecology preservation and residents’self-awareness,both quantity and species of birds increased largely on this island Even the preserved animal-otter,and living fossils of thousands-year-old-horseshoe crab,are often seen in Kinmen.