Category Archives: China

Harbin Ice Festival China 2014

Here in the UK we are used to the furore surrounding the bad weather that we are expecting but despite this, we still manage to get caught out every time and a couple of inches of snow brings the UK to a complete standstill.

Over in China however, as temperatures reach a frightening -30 Celsius the fun really begins. There are lots of events to enjoy whilst visiting the festival including the following and more besides:

• Ice and Snow-world
• International snow sculpture art exhibition
• Ice lantern art fair
• Winter swimming competition
• Ice hotels
• Dog sledding
• Snow safari to see the Siberian tigers
• Ice skating
• Ski-ing
• Snow mobile racing
• Romantic sleigh ride in the snow
• Ice snow poem-reciting party
• Ice photographic exhibition
• Ice movie festival
• Ice snow wedding ceremonies
• Firework display

The surrounding area’s all converge on the Ice Festival as there are special competitions for all the children in the area, including all the age groups from primary to college/university students too.

The most popular attractions are Zaolin Park’s Ice festival which has some spectacular structures, beautiful ice lanterns and waterfalls. There are also some beautiful scale copies of European landmarks and ice slides which are certain to keep the kids entertained.

This festival is themed unsurprisingly as ‘Ice and Snow City Harbin’ and the event attracts a massive number of visitors annually to this fantastic winter wonderland resort and the evening is capped off with a fantastic FIREWORK DISPLAY from the country that brought pyro to the world, they are nothing short of spectacular.

The event officially starts on 5th January 2014 but it is open from late December to visitors.

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Happy Chinese New Year. Year of the Horse.

The 31st January sees the start of the Chinese New Year of the Horse. The date of the Chinese New Year changes every year as it is based upon the ancient Chinese Lunar calendar and not the Gregorian calendar used in most of western society.

The celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year is thought to date back several thousand years, allegedly as far back as 3000 BC but as the Chinese do not use continuous numbers so the current year could be anything from 4712 to 4650.

The year of the Horse is said to be the year of great communicators who will need to use this gift to help them during what is going to be a difficult year but the Chinese calendar also says that this will be the best way of making sure that they achieve their goals under their own efforts and not that of others.

The ancient Chinese legend says that a monster, known as Nian (the Chinese word for New Year) who preyed on the villagers stealing their food, taking their young and destroying crops. It is said that a wise old man suggested that as ‘Nian’ was afraid of the colour red and loud noise they should hang red lanterns and wall coverings outside of their doors and make noise by burning bamboo which pops loudly when the hot air escapes.

This is a long holiday which lasts for 15 days and each one has a specific celebration attached. Before the start of the celebrations, the house has to be cleaned thoroughly inside and out including all the beds, bedding and crockery has to all be washed and many paints the houses (the doors are painted red) as they believe that this washes away the bad luck in readiness for the arrival of the new luck heralded by the New Year.

The first day of the celebrations is of course all about family as they are gathered together to feast close to the home of the eldest member of the extended family. The meal will consist of a huge communal ‘hot pot’ symbolising the coming together of family and friends. They will also enjoy massive meat dishes including mainly pork and chicken and fish and seafood including lobster and abalone. There is also a fish dish which whilst they will try it, there will be a great deal more leftover which will be kept until the following day said to encourage their deities to give them surpluses for the coming year.

Many of the actions taken are symbolic of the Chinese belief’s that they will receive good luck, peace and harmony as a result of what is essentially a great clear out (spring clean) and then they will be ready to receive whatever the new year favours them with.

The holiday is rich and varied and here at Epic, we have a close working and personal relationship with China and its people so we wish our friends a happy and prosperous 2014

萬事如意 Wànshìrúyì – “May all your wishes be fulfilled”

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The Epic Gang Are Back

In the words of the 1976 Thin Lizzy classic, ‘The boys are back in town’. Jimmy and I (Paul) have just returned to the UK from our first trip of 2014 to China to see new products being tested and to discuss what can be produced for us to meet exacting standards.

We flew out of London Heathrow on 5th January to Hong Kong before flying over to Beihai in mainland China.

Travelling from our HQ in Sheffield to our final destination in China takes a staggering 23 hours just in transfers, flights and the journey to the hotel.

A very short while after landing, off we went in search of the best factories to make this year’s new additions to the ranks. The weather, for the first time in many years was really quite pleasant and unusually so, particularly as historically we have been greeted by freezing temperatures and icy winds – it’s a shame that we took all our winter woollies as this just added to the cost of the weight of the cases.

We saw samples of new products, some of which sadly were CAT 4 but are absolutely gorgeous anyway so if you want to check out the products we saw, you can check them out on our YouTube channel or indeed on Instagram or Flickr.

Here is a small selection of some of the goodies we saw:

Loads more to follow 🙂

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