A snake culture exhibition was held Sunday in Beijing to mark the coming Chinese Lunar Year of the Snake, which falls on January 24.
The exhibition is divided into 20 parts featuring the origin, classification, propagation of the snake and the history and culture of its images in traditional Chinese folk custom.
At the same time, more than 30 kinds of live snakes and 140 pictures of snake species are on display.
There are 2,500 to 3,000 kinds of snakes in the world, 600 kinds are vipers. China has 200 kinds of snakes, in which 40 are vipers.
Since ancient times, the Chinese have been using 12 kinds of fictitious or real-life animals such as the mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit and dragon to symbolize each of every 12 years.
(People’s Daily 01/22/2001)