There is nothing like participation to get in tune with a culture and feel that the world, despite all fo tis disparities, is really one big family. Beijing's four distinct seasons give ample opportunity for the staging of popular events that range from the sedate and traditional to the slightly strange. Here are some of the regular annual events.
- January 1 Mutianyu section, Great Wall Just as millions have done over the centuries since it was built, you can
watch the sun rise over the Great Wall and its surrounding landscape.
- January 15-End-February Long-qingxia. Beijing is cold in winter, just right for the formation of ice and the carving of clear-ice sculptures that can be internally illuminated. Definitely for the lover of the cold but beautiful.
- Spring Festival Grand View Garden, A unique look back into imperial times, with the annual theatrical Ceremony of the Qing Dynasty concubine Visiting Her Parents.
- Spring Festival Big Bell Temple Museum. The annual festival at Big Bell Temple is one of Beijing's most popular family events. Join in.
- Spring Festival Baiyuanguan Temple. The Baiyungguan Taoist temple Fair is another local favorite, and the invitation is out-join in.
- Spring Festival Dragon Pool Park. Another organized yet spontaneous festivity to help while away those early spring days and evenings.
- 3rd week of the 3rd lunar month Double third temple Fair. Getting together and sharing the beauty of the early spring at White Dragon Pool.
- 23rd day of the 1st lunar month Yonghegong Lamasery. Join the Buddhist priests in their religious ceremony.
- Mid-April to Early May Peach Blossom Festival. Winter's gone, spring's here and summer's around the corner. It is time to wake up and smell the peach blossoms at the Beijing Botanical Garden.
- April 15 to may 31 Great Wall Ancient Art Festival. Held at the Badaling section of the Great Wall, this features pieces of modern art that have been done in the styles of the past. (Also September 15-October 31)
- Late June Watermelon Festival. Daxing County celebrates one of Beijing's favorite fruits - or is it favorite vegetables? Seed-spitting contests are not included.
- August Dragon Boat Races. Held on the Ming Tomb Reservoir north of Beijing.
- September-October Double Ninth Mountain Tour. An event to attract the fit, this sees hardy souls trudging up and around the peaks of Badachu Park.
- September 24 to October 20 chrysanthemum Festival. This favorite flower adds beauty to the lives of Beijing people and is observed and revered in return.
- September Beijing International Kite Festival. Beijing is very windy each autumn, with beautiful, sometimes exotic and occasionally weird shapes sent aloft to challenge the breezes.
- Mid to late September Mid-Autumn Festival. A former imperial court preserve in Shisanling town ship is the scene of this joyous time.
All Year Long
- October 6-8 Tongzhou Snacks Festival. Snack, not fast, food is the norm for Beijing and Xinhua Street in Tongxian county is famous for the quality of its products.
- October 15- November 15 Great Wall golden Autumn Festival. Gold and red leaves abound in the woodlands on the hills around the great Wall. Come and enjoy.
- October 15 November 10 Fragrant Hill Red Leaves Festival. The East is Red when the leaves change in the Fragrant Hills. An event to be celebrated.
- Come fly with me
Exhibitions of Aircraft Chinese aerospace history and achievements are on show at the Museum of Aviation.
- Confucius Memorial Ceremonies
The Confucian temple is the scene of music and dance commemorating the ideals of the great philosopher.
- Peking Opera
The Liyuan theater and Qianmen Hotel and the venues for this ever-popular cultural showcase.
- Sampling the teas of China
At the Lao She Teahouse and Tianqiao Pleasant Tea Garden, ballads are sung and writings presented as guests drink their tea and sample delicacies.
- Acrobatics Shows
China's famed acrobats perform at the Theater of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles.