Qingdao International Beer Festival 2012

A China travel in August is not complete until you stop at Qingdao. Let me explain… What is the Chinese most famous beverage in the world? The Tsingtao Beer! And like these past 16 years, the international beer festival will be held at the Chinese beer hometown. In fact because of the beer, we can […]

A China travel in August is not complete until you stop at Qingdao. Let me explain…

What is the Chinese most famous beverage in the world? The Tsingtao Beer! And like these past 16 years, the international beer festival will be held at the Chinese beer hometown. In fact because of the beer, we can call the city Qingdao or Tsingtao. The city is located in Eastern China, in the Eastern Shangdong, bordering Yantai to the northeast, Weifang to the west and Rizhao to the southwest. Every year, on the second week of August, the coastal city organizes a huge international beer festival of 16 days. This year the festivities will start on the 11th and end on the 26th. What about get a break during your China tour and enjoy fresh beers under that heat or get your first take-away beer in a plastic bag?

Last year about 300.000 thirsty drinkers came to Qingdao; it is definitely the biggest beer festival of Asia. Chinese beer festival’s is friendlier than European or American ones I think, Chinese has another concept of drinking beer; they don’t just want to drink in order to get drunk, but they drink to share a special moment with friends and people they like with always something to eat in complement.  You must experience the tradition of “GanBei”, there’s no such great thing to start bonding with some new friends! Barbecue food, music and a carnival atmosphere at the beer festival is helping to attract more and more Chinese people. By the way, Western food and Chinese food will be available, including the locally popular meat skewers. Moreover, you could jump on the stage for a drinking competition, a karaoke (what would be a party in China without it?), see a fashion show or listen to live music bands.

The world’s major brewers, such as Beck’s, Kirin, Asahi, Carlsberg, Corona, Heineken, Tiger, and Budweiser are sparing no effort in exploring the market in China – so their brands will prominently be displayed. And of course the Chinese favorite brewer will be present, a festival (almost) only to glorify Tsingtao beer! By the way, did you know that Germans created the popular Chinese beverage? In the 19th century, Germans came in Qingdao and constructed beer factories and displayed their know-how, since that day, beer remains they specialty of this city even if Germans are gone.

This year the festival will take place in the Laoshan District of Qingdao, home to Tsingtao Beer at Tsingtao Beer Passion Square(青岛啤酒激情广场) also known as Qingdao Century Square (青岛世纪广场) located about 1000 meters north of Qingdao Beer City just behind the Qingdao International Convention Center.

Qingdao International Beer Festival Events:

2012 Theme: “Cheers for Passion – GanBei With the World !”
Grand Opening Ceremony & Concert @ TianTai Stadium:  (11th August 2012 @ 8:00pm)
Admission:  280元, 580元, 880元, 1080元, 1380元, 1580元, 1680元, 1980元, 2380元   Telephone:  +86 (532) 5557-9082; 5557-9080

Daily Schedule of Events @ Tsingtao Beer Passion Square (Century Square):  (9:00am-10:00pm, 11th-26th August 2012)
Qingdao GanBei with the World! (青岛和世界干杯):  (25th August 2012)
Closing Ceremony:  (26th August 2012)

Tsingtao Beer Passion Square (Century Square):  09:00 – 22:00
10 RMB (09:00 – 15:00)
20 RMB (15:00 – 22:00)
For more information call +86 (532) 8889-2376

Don’t hesitate! While booking your China flights don’t forget to save money and get into a train to Qingdao!

‘Sounds Peachy!’

On April 26, 2012, in Festivals, Nature Scenery, Tours, by Jack Li

If you are going to travel to Beijing around springtime, why not stop-off at Pinggu. Not to be fooled with the conventional botanical garden shows, the Pinggu Peach Flowers Festival is an annual springtime event which allows people to admire the blossoming local peach trees. This is an extremely popular event that spans a few […]

If you are going to travel to Beijing around springtime, why not stop-off at Pinggu. Not to be fooled with the conventional botanical garden shows, the Pinggu Peach Flowers Festival is an annual springtime event which allows people to admire the blossoming local peach trees. This is an extremely popular event that spans a few weekends in the month of April. Well-known for its peaches, Pinggu village sits in the biggest fruit-growing zone of the Beijing area. Travelling to the village takes approximately two hours from Beijing. What makes Pinngu a handy location is that it is en route to Laoxiangfeng on the 918 bus, so travellers can always combine the two in the same day. If you prefer not to travel independently, China tours can provide useful services concerning this matter.

The festival is a laidback affair with people of all ages enjoying themselves; making it an excellent place to bring the family. Across the road from the peach trees, there are some stalls where you can buy local farm produce and also where the toilets are situated. Interestingly, the festival has gained recognition throughout the community with the local television channel, BTV, hosting range of acts through the proceedings. ‘Community’ is certainly a key word because at the festival this is where you will discover the real warmth of northern hospitality. Indeed, from a foreigner’s viewpoint, visiting the festival gives a chance to really engage with local life with all its similarities and contrasts to your own homeland. Along one of the lanes which intersect through the peach-tree field, you can find a number of stalls which sell, make and cook various products. A couple of venders, in particular, create some unbelievably life-like bugs (such as butterflies and crickets) out of reeds which are a must-see. In any case, with lots of fairground-style games, the Pinggu Festival is again a great place to have a fun day out with friends and family alike.

Transportation costs notwithstanding, the visit to the festival can be relatively cost-effective when there. You do not need to purchase anything, for example, plus you can just wander around and admire the wonderful flowery setting which has an outstanding mountainous backdrop. Unfortunately, you may not be able to eat any fresh peaches picked from the local field as the peach harvest occurs towards August/September time. The fields have, nevertheless, a typically Chinese appearance with working stilted-huts dotted throughout. In addition to the peach trees, the fields also comprise of other crops such as onions which in itself demonstrates the resourcefulness of the sector which feeds the nation as a whole. After visiting the festival, it does feel somewhat of a treat to see rural life in China as opposed to the everyday city existence. Subsequently, it is highly recommended that if booking China flights in the near future, to contemplate what else the country offers besides the more famous touristic highlights.

 

 

 

The Year of the Dragon

On April 12, 2012, in Cultural Experience, Festivals, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

What people have in mind when they hear about the Chinese New Year are probably dragon dances and fireworks. Those are very traditional elements of the festivities and when you travel to Beijing or another big city you should certainly see this part of the culture if you get the chance. If you book one […]

What people have in mind when they hear about the Chinese New Year are probably dragon dances and fireworks. Those are very traditional elements of the festivities and when you travel to Beijing or another big city you should certainly see this part of the culture if you get the chance. If you book one of the China hotels in a good location you might even have a good view from the hotel room. But for safety reasons this practice has been banned in some major cities and also keep in mind that there is no general public celebration apart from the fireworks.

This holiday belongs to the family and combines in a way Christmas and the Western New Year’s Eve and is a holiday period that lasts 15 days. It’s the time of the year when families get together, exchange presents and enjoy meals together. One of the most important parts is the feast on the evening of the New Year. There are different kinds of traditional food, depending on the region. In the north for example jiao zi (Chinese dumplings which are shaped like a crescent moon) are very typical.

From New Year’s Day on every day has a certain meaning, a typical meal, activities that should be avoided or that are usually done. The eighth day is the end of the official holiday and people go back to work. The Chinese New Year festivities end with the Lantern Festival which is always on the day of the first full moon. On this day families get together and especially for kids it’s a very enjoyable night. They make paper lanterns to illuminate and march under the full moon.

The origin of this holiday goes back to the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). During this economically prosperous and politically stable time celebrations during New Year blossomed with the purpose of spending time with the family.

Every year in the Chinese calendar stands under the sign of one of the twelve zodiac signs, which are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. In China 2012 is the year of the dragon, which is the fifth sign or to be more precise the New Year of the Chinese calendar began on January 23, 2012 and will end on February 9, 2013. These dates change every year according to the Gregorian calendar and range between late January and mid February.

In China the dragon is the mightiest of all signs and a symbol of power and wealth, full of vitality and strength. For that reason many Chinese people see the dragon year as a good opportunity to get things started and succeed at something major. It is said that the Dragon year brings luck to those who dare to speak out, to take charge and even to take over.

If you want to plan your stay in China during that time of the year take into consideration that China flights might be slightly more expensive because so many people travel out of town to meet their families and apart from that most tourist attractions are closed on the day of the New Year.

Kung Hei Fat Choy – Happy Chinese New Year

On January 5, 2012, in Featured China Stories, Festivals, by Jack Li

The Chinese has one of the richest and colorful traditions in the world and one of their most anticipated celebrations is the Chinese New Year.When is it Celebrated? Spring festival, or what is more known as the Chinese New Year, is considered one of the most important events in China. The celebration is based on […]

The Chinese has one of the richest and colorful traditions in the world and one of their most anticipated celebrations is the Chinese New Year.When is it Celebrated?

Spring festival, or what is more known as the Chinese New Year, is considered one of the most important events in China. The celebration is based on the lunar calendar, so that the first day of the lunar year marks the Chinese New Year. Thus, the event falls between late January to early February. The celebration begins on the eve of the lunar new year and continues on until the fifth day of the lunar calendar’s first month. Next will come the lantern festival. This year Chinese New Year falls on February 3; the Year of the Rabbit.

How is it Celebrated?

Generally, the Chinese people prepares for this holiday by making sure everything in their life is in order, or at least under control. By this I mean the house should be clean, rifts or problems should be resolved, clothes worn should be clean or new, etc. At midnight there are fireworks and firecrackers to greet the coming of the new year. The belief behind this is that the noise created by the firecrackers will drive away evil spirits.

What’s in the Menu?

After the festivities, the family will sit down to a feast. A sticky rice pudding called nian gao (or “tikoy”) as well as dumplings is usually present in these feasts. Nian gao is also given to family and friends; the belief behind this is that the stickiness of the nian gao will hold or bind the family together. Also, because of its round shape and sweet taste, it is said to bring good fortune and sweetness to one’s life. In my home, we usually cut the nian gao into lengthwise pieces, roll it into beaten eggs and fried. It’s delicious!

Other Aspects of the Chinese New Year

Houses are decorated with lights and lanterns. Red is a popular color to wear when ushering in the Chinese New Year. Also, hongbao, or red envelopes that contain money, are given to family and friends (especially the youngsters) as a symbol of luck and wealth. There are also lots of musical performances and parades; the most famous of which is the dragon and lion dance. In the Chinese culture, the dragon is the deity of water ensuring that no drought will come. The lion, on the other hand, helps ward off evil spirits since it symbolizes power and courage.

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Have a fiery celebration for the year of the Dragon

On July 8, 2011, in Cultural Experience, Festivals, Nightlife, by Jack Li

On January the 23rd 2012 the whole of China will be celebrating the New Year, so if you want to be part of it book China Flights with Air China now! 2012 is the year of the dragon that traditionally symbolises power, strength and bring good luck. The children born in the year of the […]

On January the 23rd 2012 the whole of China will be celebrating the New Year, so if you want to be part of it book China Flights with Air China now!

2012 is the year of the dragon that traditionally symbolises power, strength and bring good luck. The children born in the year of the dragon are supposed to be confident and hardworking as it is the luckiest of all animals. A number of Chinese proverbs refer to the Dragon, for instance ‘Hoping one’s son will become a dragon.’

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the biggest Chinese celebration of the year and celebrations traditionally continue for 15 days. It is a time for families to congregate and buy presents, new clothes and have haircuts. Their homes are thoroughly cleaned to sweep out any bad luck from the old year and make room for future good luck.

Cultural customs include dragon dances, which occur in every city and town throughout China. The aim of this is to scare away evil spirits. The dragon is carried on poles to the beat of a drum that represents the dragon searching for wisdom and knowledge. The Dragon can vary in length, from a few metres to 100m long. Chinese people believe that the longer the dragon the more good luck it will bring.

Each home is decorated with red and gold decorations. Red is a lucky colour and is supposed to frighten off the monster Nian, who is thought to come on New Years Eve. Gold decorations are used to bring wealth to the residents. Cities are a sea of red and gold lanterns, which is such an incredible sight that you cannot miss it.

Celebrations for this festival are the most extravagant in Beijing, as it is the capital city of China. The city is filled with excitement and joy as the Bejingers prepare for the most thrilling event of the year. The best place in Beijing to experience Chinese New Year is the Temple fairs. Here there are mass gathers every year because people come to soak up the colourful ambience, watch the entertainment and gasp at the firework display. In addition online casino to this, traditional arts and crafts are sold, games are played and Chinese food is savoured.

At Chinese New Year ‘tikoy’ is eaten, which is a type of dumpling and is stuffed with a variety of different fillings. They can contain different meats, seafood or various Chinese vegetables. The Chinese people often make tikoy in their homes and give them to friends and family as gifts.

Shanghai also puts on a magnificent array of Chinese celebrations including firework displays, which can be enjoyed throughout the city. Fireworks are used to demonstrate the New Year belief of ‘out with the old and in with the new.’ Many more electrifying celebrations occur, including Yangee dancing which is an exciting event where family and friends come together to have tremendous fun. Yangee dancing can be traced back 2000 years ago, when it was a religious activity to greet the Gods and dispel evil. However, today it has a recreational purpose and is particularly enjoyed at this time of year.

If you want to be part of this enormous celebration and experience a once in a lifetime opportunity book China Hotels now! Places soon get booked up because everyone wants to be there, so what are you waiting for?

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Duānwǔjié =The Dragon Boat Festival & Zòngzi

On June 10, 2011, in Cultural Experience, Festivals, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

When you think of a festival do the words dragon or boat come to mind? Well book any one of China Tours and come experience the many festivals that China has to offer. This past weekend the Dragon Boat Festival which is also called (Duānwǔjié Festival) took place at most lakes and waterways. The origin […]

When you think of a festival do the words dragon or boat come to mind? Well book any one of China Tours and come experience the many festivals that China has to offer. This past weekend the Dragon Boat Festival which is also called (Duānwǔjié Festival) took place at most lakes and waterways. The origin of the Dragon Boat Festival originated during (475-221BC). Officially the Dragon Boat Festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, which is why the Festival is also known as the double fifth day. People all over the world book their Beijing Fights around this festival and here is why. This fascinating festival derives from the death of Qu Yuan, who was a minister he was said to have committed suicide by drowning himself in a river.

Qu Yuan, during the Warring States Period was the minister of the State of Chu. Qu was described as loyal, upright, and looked up upon for his wise ways in council that eventually brought peace and prosperity to the state. Qu was belittled by a Prince in the State of Chu, it made him shamed he then dismissed himself from his title. It is said when Qu Yuan realized that his country was not longer in a pure state he grabbed a stone and jumped into the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth month. Not to long after the State of  Chu was then conquered by the State of Qin. Qu Yuan was greatly loved by many the people who mourned his death. Every year on the fifth day of the fifth month they proceeded to throw rice into the river to feed his ghost. One year it was said that the spirit of Qu Yuan appeared and told his mourners that a huge dragon had taken the rice. The spirit of Qu Yuan then advised his mourners to wrap the rice in silk and bind it with five different colored threads before tossing it into the river.

The festive wraps in modern days are filled with a glutinous rice pudding which is called Zòngzi. To create Zòngzi you will need Lotus seeds, Chestnuts, Pork fat, Yolk of an egg and of course rice. To finalize the wrap you would then mix together and proceed to wrap with bamboo leaves, and tie it with the thick thread followed by then boiling in salt water for hours.

The Dragon Boat races were created to symbolize the numerous attempts to find Qu Yuan’s body. A typical Dragon Boat race would range from 50-100 feet in length. The “boat” also called a beam would be measured at approximately 6 feet which includes two paddles that are placed side by side. To decorate the bow of the beam a wooden dragon head is attached follow by a dragon tail at the stern. Some boats carry a colorful banner that is hoisted onto a pole which is then strapped to the stern. The centers of more traditional boats canopies  are places where the gongs are placed.

This beautiful festival is held amongst different villages, organizations and clans in China. The winners are awarded medals, jugs of wine, meals and banners. By just reading this blog, this mystical and traditional festival can not be understood until you are apart of it yourself. You can be apart of China’s many festivals not much planning needed, you can start your China Travel now. China welcomes you with open arms.

Chinese New Year

On January 18, 2011, in Cultural Experience, by Sandy Li

When you start your China Tours or you stay in China Hotels in winter, you will find that there is something special in China. In winter, Chinese people will meet the coming New Year. Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival is the most important traditional Chinese holidays. The origin of Chinese New […]

When you start your China Tours or you stay in China Hotels in winter, you will find that there is something special in China. In winter, Chinese people will meet the coming New Year. Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival is the most important traditional Chinese holidays. The origin of Chinese New Year is several myths and traditions. It has long history and gains significance all over the world. The date of Chinese New Year is based on the lunisolar Chinese calendar. Traditionally, Chinese New Year begins on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day of the first month. Chinese New Year’s Eve, a day where Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner, is known as chú xī.

During the festival, regional customs and traditions about the celebration of Chinese New Year vary widely. All the people have a holiday during this festival and go back to their hometowns to celebrate. Because in this festival people who have worked in the whole year have a time for relax and visit their parents and relatives. People will buy some presents, food, clothing and some decorations to welcome the New Year. When you go shopping during this period in China, you will find that all the shopping-mall’s products are in good discount and the whole streets or buildings are put on some red decorations. People could feel the atmosphere of Chinese New Year everywhere.

It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away all bad things and make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be attached with red color paper-cuts and couplets with themes of “happiness”,”wealth”,”health”,”longevity”. Besides, people will make a phone call or sent a message to their friends, colleagues and relatives for celebrating and give them the best wishes in the Chinese New Year or Chinese New Years’ Eve.

On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families, including at least ten dishes. All the people in the family will prepare for the dinner. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken, fished, vegetables and desserts. People also drink beer or wine, and children should give best wish to their elder generations during the dinner. In the past, people have New Year dinner at home, but recently, eating outside is more and more popular. Many restaurants provide different kinds of “dinner for New Year”. If you want to eat outside, you should book it in advance. During the dinner, people will watch the “New Year’s Party” in the TV. This party is hold by CCTV every year at 8:00pm on the Eve of Chinese New Year. All Chinese people may not miss this program. At mid-night, with the bell of Chinese New Year, people will eat dumplings for being lucky. In some regions, people will put some coins or other materials in the dumplings. If you get one with coin, you will be lucky this year. It is a good sign for people to be successful in their works or studies.

The family will end the night with firecrackers. Although the date of Chinese New Year Early is in the winter, all the people including kids go outside to view the amazing fireworks. In the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes.

If you are interested in the celebration of Chinese New Year and want to know Chinese culture well, please don’t hesitate to book China Flights. 

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