The biggest celebration in the Chinese calendar gets underway as the Spring Festival begins.
Throughout China, the people are dashing around making last-minute preparations for the Year of the Snake. The festival in itself is more elaborate than Christmas in the West and for many families throughout this densely populated continent (China’s population is over 1.3 billion) it represents the only time of year that all the generations will have the opportunity to gather together to remember their ancestors, share stories and clear the way for the following 12-months.
The Chinese lunar calendar this year is represented by the Snake and it is, therefore, no surprise that the theme of many of the gifts, decorations, events and even food and drink (snake wine?!!!) are connected with the snake on some level.
From Bvlgari snake watches at a not inconsiderable £3000.00 a piece to handmade red paper snakes and performances of ‘Madame White Snake’ at the Peking Opera House it’s fairly difficult to escape the theme this year.
There are of course some fascinating events taking place around the Country and one of the most notable is the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival.
This year marks the 29th anniversary of this event which begins early January and continues until early February officially but it can be seen from mid-December until often late February providing the very cold weather conditions continue.
Some of the best ice-sculptors in the world gather together in fashioning this beautiful winter wonderland featuring ice palaces which reach into the sky, some of which are several storeys high. There are some which incorporate ice slides and even a working escalator.
The best of the exhibits feature structures including mazes, bars and hotels, 1500 traditionally carved ice lanterns and popular entertainment in the form of ice skating, skiing, ice golf and ice archery to name but a few.
If you have the opportunity to visit this exhibition, let us have some pictures and we will be happy to feature them on our website.