Beijing illuminates new winter tourism

Colorful displays, lantern exhibitions entice visitors to linger longer

By XIN WEN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-20 07:47
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On a bitterly cold Beijing evening in late November, 27-year-old Li Chuhan was one of thousands of spectators mesmerized by a light show that looked like spectacular scenes from a Harry Potter movie.

A flock of illuminated giant phoenixes — trailing long, fiery tail feathers — circled, soared and swooped over the lake near the Solana shopping mall in Chaoyang district.

Dressed in a thick coat and holding a camera, Li was surrounded by a group of people and jostled to capture images of the phoenixes, which in mythology are reborn through fire and ashes.

The simulated phoenixes that transfixed the crowd during the Beijing Chaoyang International Light Festival were "kites" powered by drones with a series of lights attached.

The festival, held along the Liangma River and across other landmark locations in Chaoyang, featured more than 100 cultural, commercial and tourism events.

Although she was chilled to the bone as she clutched her camera, Li said she hoped more light shows would be held in Beijing in the winter. "It's only on rare occasions that wintry days like these don't dampen people's enthusiasm to go out," she said, adding the night was a precious moment that lifted her spirits.

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