Shanghai gets ready to ring in the New Year

The bell-tolling ceremonies at Longhua Temple in Xuhui District and Jade Buddha Temple in Jing'an District will be held at midnight on New Year's Eve.

Shanghai will ring in 2018 with a variety of events on December 31 and January 1, including the annual countdown event at Xintiandi and tolling of the bells at temples across the city.

The Shanghai Tourism Administration said yesterday that the bell-tolling ceremonies at Longhua Temple in Xuhui District and Jade Buddha Temple in Jing’an District will be held at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

A bronze bell will be struck 108 times in what many believe “absolves sins and brings good luck, while eliminating grief and worries.”

There will be dragon-and-lion performances and visitors can try out bowls of noodles and hang wishes on tree branches at Longhua.

Hong Kong movie actor Aaron Kwok and Kunqu Opera artist Zhang Jun will perform at a gala by the Taiping Lake in Xintiandi before the countdown.

There will be lucky draws, run-with-the-beer competition and handicrafts market at the Laowaijie, or Foreigners Street on Hongmei Road in Minhang District, on December 31 and January 1.

Running up the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in the Pudong New Area will be held on the first day of the New Year. Tradition dictates that “climbing high” on New Year’s Day brings good luck and signifies a good start.

A similar event will be held at Sheshan Hill in suburban Songjiang District on January 1. Runners will take off from Shanghai Happy Valley and head for the hilltop in Sheshan, covering 2.2 kilometers.

Health runs will also be held at the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone and Dishui Lake in Pudong, Langxia countryside park, the Shanghai International Circuit and City Beach.

About 100 craftsmen from Zigong City, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, will deck up Shanghai Happy Valley with 50 million lights. Street dances and hip-hop parties will light up the evening.

The Fengjing Watertown in Jinshan District will stage performances, and visitors can create works of art and visit intangible cultural heritage museums.

The Shanghai Botanical Garden in Xuhui will put up a creeping wood sorrel exhibition with about 1,600 plants that include some rare species.

Cultural events and lucky draws will be staged at Hongqiao Railway Station where new high-speed trains will be introduced linking Shanghai with tourist destinations in neighboring Zhejiang Province, like Zhuji, Changshan and Taishun.

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