Performing arts

Dancing in the street: Shanxi marks special Spring Festival

Updated: Feb 3, 2023 By Yuan Shenggao (China Daily) Print
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Visitors take pictures with the God of Fortune and other characters in Daotian Park. [Photo by Wu Liuhong for China Daily]

Taiyuan plays host to more than 150 cultural events, which attracts almost 1.5 million people

Regions across North China's Shanxi province offered a variety of events during Spring Festival, which spanned Jan 21-27, for residents and tourists to celebrate this most important and traditional holiday in China.

In the provincial capital of Taiyuan, there were a total of 153 cultural events, both online and offline, on offer.

Snow and ice sports and other related activities in the city's Daotian Park were a highlight of the events.

Liu Yu, a resident of Taiyuan, took his son to the park on Jan 25. His 9-year-old son was immediately enticed by the sights, which transformed the park into a winter wonderland.

The pair had an enjoyable experience practicing skiing and riding snowmobiles. "That was something exciting for both the adults and children," Liu said.

This winter, Daotian Park was turned into the largest ice and snow amusement park in Taiyuan. Its more than 70,000 square meters of dedicated venues are able to accommodate about 10,000 visitors to experience multiple ice and snow activities.

A huge skating rink is located near the main entrance of the park, offering an ideal venue for beginners to learn. Even those who have no skills can have fun riding sleds.

There are 20-plus ski tracks for skiing enthusiasts and there are also a number of facilities for children, like snow tubes, toboggans and sleighs.

Liu Qian is a native of Beijing. She spent this Spring Festival in Taiyuan, which is her husband's hometown.

She said when the family visited Daotian Park, her 7-year-old daughter was excited by the varieties of snow and ice sports.

"We found snow tubing was our favorite," Liu Qian said. "You don't need to control the tube, just letting it slide down and turn around randomly is a fun experience for any child."

In addition to skating and skiing, the park has other facilities for children, like carousels, slides and roller coasters.


Local people perform a ritual dance for good fortune and a plentiful harvest in Daotian Park in Taiyuan. Daotian literally means rice field. [Photo by Wu Liuhong for China Daily]

There are also interactive shows promoting local cultural heritage, like shadow puppetry and the making of sticky rice dumplings – the signature food for Lantern Festival which falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month.

The old county seat of Taiyuan, a popular tourist attraction in the city that is also known as Old Taiyuan, was another major venue for Spring Festival celebrations.

A cultural festival is being held in Old Taiyuan from Jan 20 to Feb 5. It consists of lantern shows, a Spring Festival fair and folk art performances. Local administrators said it received more than 240,000 visits during the holiday.

The Spring Festival fair had more than 10,000 varieties of goods – which were sourced from about 100 counties, cities and districts in Shanxi – and offered many options for shoppers.

The folk arts show is an important part of the Old Taiyuan cultural festival. It shows visitors how Spring Festival was celebrated in the past times with performances of opera, dance and music featuring ancient costumes and many rituals.

Other cultural activities in Taiyuan during the holiday included an online exhibition of calligraphic works and Chinese paintings held by the Taiyuan Museum of Fine Arts, and magic shows hosted by the Taiyuan Cultural Center.

Statistics from the Taiyuan bureau of culture and tourism show that the city's tourism sites received more than 1.46 million visits during the holiday, increasing 31.8 percent from the Lunar New Year holiday in 2022.

Wu Jia contributed to this story.

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