BEIJING – Millions of Chinese across the country are finalizing preparations to ring in the New Year on Feb. 16 to mark the Year of the Dog with various festivals involving ice and fire, official media CCTV reported on Monday.
In the central city of Chongqing on the shores of the Yangtze River, the Fire Dragon Dance was performed this weekend in which a framework made of cloth embodying the mythical animal is made to dance under a rain of incandescent iron filings.
Some 10,000 people attended the show, a tradition that goes back three centuries and is performed in various parts of China. In 2013, it was categorized by the Ministry of Culture as a tradition of national interest.
In other parts of China, especially up in the cold north, ice statues were sculpted to bid farewell to the Year of the Rooster and to welcome the Dog. In Longqingxia, located on the outskirts of Beijing, ice and snow were used to construct temporary castles and palaces.
The town has also decided to give this annual festival an Olympic theme, focusing particularly on winter sports, since Longqingxia will host skiing competitions during the 2022 Beijing Olympics.