Yanqing is a town one and a half hours drive north of Beijing, beyond the Great Wall at Badaling.
It holds the most amazingly colourful and spectacular parade every year
on the last day of the Chinese new year holiday.
This is the 3rd year I have made the long drive to be amazed by stilt walkers, lion dancers, dragon dancers and many ladies with fans.
There are several groups of stilt walkers who dance on the streets for 4 hours non stop and never seem to trip. Each village has it's own personality and costume design.
Various folk tales are reenacted such as this one with donkeys, another one with a matchmaker!
Every team has its own band of musicians belting out the beat with drums, pipes and clashing cymbals.
The faces are just wonderful and much of the 90,000 strong population turns out to watch it.
The ironic thing is that as I walk by with my blond hair I get many stares from people who are seeing a real live laowei ( foreigner) for the first time. But it is all smiles and waves!
We didn't meet another foreign face.
Happy Lantern Festival to everyone.