Over 10,000 tourists expect polar lights in Mohe

Updated: 2011-06-23 07:47
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HARBIN - More than 10,000 tourists from around the world gathered Wednesday night in a small town in China's northernmost county of Mohe to observe the aurora borealis, or northern lights.

The 21st Mohe Polar Lights Festival kicked off at 8 pm in the town of Beijicun, or "North Pole Village" in Chinese, in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

About 16,000 people, including local residents, attended the festival's opening ceremony.

"The number of tourists has been increasing over these days," said Li Guiqing, who manages a family inn in the town.

"They are all here to watch the polar lights during the festival," Li said.

Alexandre and Coralie, a French couple, chose the town as a vacation stop.

"I know the polar lights are hard to see, depending on the weather, but we decided to test our luck here," Alexandre said.

"I hope we will be lucky enough to see the miraculous lights," he added.

The aurora borealis is a natural light display in the sky caused by the collision of charged particles directed by the Earth's magnetic field. The phenomenon is observable in areas close to the Earth's north pole.

The town of Beijicun is considered to be the best place in China to observe the phenomenon.