BEIJING: Over 500 members of a Chinese family have posed for a rare family photo, taken after some 80 years.
The photos were taken at a Ren family reunion at Shishe village in China's eastern province of Zhejiang. It was held last week during the Lunar New Year period, which is usually marked by the Chinese with large family gatherings and meals.
Photographer Zhang Liangzong took the pictures with a drone in front of basalt formations near Shishe.
He told the BBC that the Ren family, which originates from the village, can be traced back 851 years, but their family tree had not been updated for more than eight decades.
Village elders recently began updating the family tree records and managed to track down at least 2,000 living descendants spanning seven generations, Zhang said. They marked the family tree's completion by holding a massive reunion, and managed to gather more than 500 people.
Family members came from Beijing, Shanghai, Xinjiang and Taiwan. Village chief Ren Tuanjie told state-run Xinhua news agency: "One reason was to understand where our descendants have spread to, where they have ended up and where they live, to account to our ancestors." "And another reason was also to let descendants all over the country know their roots, so that wherever they go they will not forget where they come from," said Ren, who belongs to the 26th generation of Rens and whose name happens to mean "reunion" in Chinese.
Although large family photos are common, many in China were taken aback by the scale of the Rens' photographs, which were featured widely in national media and prompted headlines such as "Do these family members even know one another?". There were also jokes aplenty on microblogging network Weibo. "What if they meet someone they like in the group? Can they still get married?" asked one user.