LIFE / CULTURE
Celebrate the Lunar New Year and Winter Olympic Games at the foot of the Great Wall
Meet in Beijing
Published: Jan 26, 2022 08:44 PM
Top: Three pupils in Yanqing district, Beijing perform the land boat dance. Photo: Ji Yuqiao/GT
A travelor takes a selfie with an ice sculpture in Beijing's Yanqing on January 15, 2022. Photo: IC

A travelor takes a selfie with an ice sculpture in Beijing's Yanqing on January 15, 2022. Photo: IC

Top: Three pupils in Yanqing district, Beijing perform the land boat dance. Photo: Ji Yuqiao/GT
A travelor takes a selfie with an ice sculpture in Beijing's Yanqing on January 15, 2022. Photo: IC

Top: Three pupils in Yanqing district, Beijing perform the land boat dance. Photo: Ji Yuqiao/GT

Even if most Beijing residents need to stay put during the Spring Festival holiday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease, they have no need to worry about the holiday being boring as Beijing's districts have prepared diverse cultural activities for visitors, like Yanqing district that plans to offer tourists the chance to not only enjoy the joyous festival, but also simultaneously the Winter Olympics at the foot of the Great Wall.

Yanqing district, where the Badaling section of the Great Wall is located and is also set to be one of three competition zones of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, has prepared more than 280 kinds of activities for local residents and visitors alike, Zhang Jing, vice secretary of the Bureau of Culture and Tourism of Yanqing, said at a press conference held on Tuesday.

The cultural activities include 11 lectures regarding the Winter Olympics, and more than 150 performances and events related to the local intangible cultural heritage.

During the 2022 Spring Festival, a snow and ice carnival will be held at the Beijing Expo Park that is also located in Yanqing district. An 80,000-square-meter snow park was created specially for the carnival, providing snow surfing, dragon boat races, snowmobiles, and many other entertainment activities.

The 65,000-square-meter ice park features a variety of events including ice cart, ice gyro, and ice bicycle riding. Some speed and figure skaters for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will also be invited to showcase their skills at the ice park. 

There are more than 500 ice installations and around 350 ice sculptures to be presented during the ice lantern and snow season in Longqing Gorge. The sculptures include Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon, the official mascots for the Winter Olympics. Some well-known pieces of architecture in China such as the National Stadium and Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang will also be presented.

Aside from cultural activities to celebrate the great sporting event, several villages in the district have prepared many entertainment events showcasing folk and intangible culture.

Visitors can gain dumpling-making experience, paper cutting, and the hanging of lanterns in the villages, Zheng Aizhen, mayor of Jingzhuang town, told the Global Times.

Zheng said that they have created some new snacks to attract young people, including the tofu hot pot and the tofu milk tea. Tourists can try the stone mill tofu-making technique as tofu is one of the most popular foods produced in Yanqing.

The traditional supply and marketing cooperatives that had been common in Chinese villages before are combined with the modern bars in Jingzhuang town, in order to provide a fresh feeling to young people who are interested in missing past times. 

The land boat dance, one of the country's intangible cultural heritage items in the town, has been readied to be performed for visitors. Elementary schools in the town have teams of land boat dancers and many pupils stand ready to give poignant land boat dance performances.

Zheng said that tourists can appreciate land boat performances and also learn about the development and history of the land boat dance in Yanqing district at a museum dedicated to folk art.

All preparation work for the Games, including transport, food supply and epidemic prevention, have been finished in Yanqing district.

The Yanqing competition zone, in anticipation of the festivities, has built many new venues, including the three competition zones and has done so in record time while overcoming some of the toughest construction difficulties in the history of the Winter Olympics.