Lantern festival, temple fair open at expo site

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A large-scale lantern festival is ongoing at the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition (Expo 2019 Beijing) site at the foot of the Great Wall in Beijing's Yanqing district. The festival showcases 52 sets of large-sized lanterns designed and produced by artisans from Zigong, a city in southwestern China's Sichuan province, which is dubbed "the hometown of lantern festivals." The lantern festival is delighting visitors with its colorful installations featuring animals, flowers, attractions, elements relating to the Expo and the 2022 Winter Games, as well as traditional Spring Festival customs. A cultural temple fair is also being staged there at the same time, offering tourists opportunities to try different gourmet cuisines and snacks, as well as enjoy various cultural performances, such as yangge (a popular rural folk dance), hobbyhorse shows and face-changing (a highlight of Sichuan Opera). Tourists can participate in an array of folk activities at the fair, including writing Spring Festival couplets, learning paper cutting and making dumplings. They can also experience the charm of China's traditional cultural heritage, such as sugar-figure blowing, gourd pyrography, hairy monkey figurine-making and straw plaiting. The two events opened to the public on Jan. 1, and will run until Feb. 29. [Photo by Zhang Junmian/]

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