The City’s Biggest Grave

Admittedly, events in history inevitably along with blood and tears, led to the very thing that would happen after a battle: the defeated party was annihilated and their bodies were buried randomly in an insignificant place.

One of these places, the so-called “Ten-Thousand People Grave,” is located at the north of Jin Niu Fang Village in Daojiao, Dongguan. During the late Ming and early Qing Dynasty, many people weren’t satisfied with their governor. Therefore, they armed themselves and protested against the then ruler. Inevitably, many of them failed—inside the grave lies thousands of volunteer-soldiers and villagers, led by Dongguaners Zhang Jiayu and Ye Ruri.

In 1826, a local person from Daojiao named Ye Anji raised money to rebuild the grave, naming it “Daojiao Da Fen,” which literally means “Daojiao Big Grave.” As the biggest grave in Dongguan, its name matches the reality.

From the late Qing Dynasty to 1949, March 28 of the lunar calendar remained the anniversary for Daojiao Da Fen—on this day, people collected money to honor ancestors. Those with the family name Ye, Wu, Liu and so on would host the ceremony in turns. Those from other places even carried roasted pig and some made an arduous journey for the ceremony.

On June 22, 1993, it was published as the 7th batch of Cultural Relics Protection Units of Dongguan.