Sunday, 28 February 2010

Chinese New Year Parade - Yanqing County, Beijing

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.


  1. Wow, the faces! They are amazing! Such a mixture of expressions. That made me laugh that they stare at you... yes, blonde hair is quite eye-catching, but pom-pom headdresses and men in pink make-up would seem to overshadow that a bit, for me at least!

    Did you see the dragon dancers from the wedding? That's where you met them two years ago, right?

  2. How do you know what our makeup looked like!! Yes the dragon dancers were all there.


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