Home Beijing Beijing Festivals Longqing Gorge Ice and Snow Festival

Longqing Gorge Ice and Snow Festival

  • Celebrated: Jan. 9 to Feb. 27
  • Location: Beijing
Ice sculpture in Longqing GorgeIce sculpture in Longqing Gorge

Longqing Gorge confidently spreads between two tall mountain peaks and it is known mainly as the venue for the annual Beijing Longqing Gorge Ice & Snow Festival. It is a smaller deal than the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival but has a private and magical atmosphere. As usual, every year the theme of the Festival is different.

At the Beijing Longqing Gorge Ice & Snow Festival, massive blocks of ice are sculpted into all manner of interesting, beautiful and sometimes spectacular shapes. This includes representations of animals (including mythical ones such as dragons), human figures and lanterns.

Among the ice-artworks are many colorfully named pieces, such as 'Peacock Welcoming Spring' (孔雀迎春 Kongque Yingchun), the Soaring Dragon (龙腾 Longteng), the Smiling Face (新春笑开颜 Xinchun Xiaokaiyan) and Nature's Annual Revival (望乡更新 Wangxiang Gengxin).

There are usually more than 400 ice sculptures and the most impressive ones are those portraying temples, palaces and of course, kids favorite: ice castles. If you are getting cold, you can take refuge in one of the cafes nearby that are generous in space heaters and hot tea.

Various Activities

Beside the ice sculptures, there are fireworks ceremonies, folk dancing, and various pageants. Also, there are other nearby ice sports and ice activities separate from the sculptural exhibits, such as ice fishing.The Beijing Longqing Gorge Ice & Snow Festival, which, at night, is illuminated by a flood of colorful lights, is held each year from the 15th of January through the 29th of February.

During the rest of the winter season, the area is closed to tourists but opens for the summer-autumn season (April 10th to November 15th), where the gorge is known for, among other things, its bungee jumps. Take an elevator disguised as a dragon to get to the Longqing dam and from there to the jumping platform.The site is ranked in the best six places to go bungee jumping in Beijing.

More About Longqing Gorge

Longqing Gorge is located about 80 km (50 mi) northwest of Beijing. Longqing is sometimes referred to as the "Little Three Gorges." This refers to the three gorges of the Three Gorges Dam project. It is named after Emperor Longqing of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

During Emperor Longqing's reign (1567-1572), the Great Wall was penetrated by a Mongol force. This Mongol force was under the command of the Altan Khan and reached all the way to Beijing itself.

Fortunately, the emperor managed to repulse the khan's army and preserve Beijing and his dynasty from the ravages of the Mongol horde. Later, the emperor, seeking to neutralize the Mongol threat by peaceful means, signed what one might today call a trade and security pact with Altan Khan. Through this agreement, the Khan purchased silk from China in exchange for horses, and a time of peace ensued.

Nearby Attractions

If you are at Longqing Gorge during the summer-autumn season, don't forget to have a look at the nearby Kangxi Grasslands, named after the Qing (1644-1911) Dynasty emperor, Emperor Kangxi, who reigned from 1661-1722.

A must see attraction on the Longqing Gorge is the Flower Cave. It is decorated with many artificial trees, flowers and birds. Every room of the cave has a special theme, for example, Springtime Blooming Flowers and at the opposite range, the Northern Scenery.

And of course, regardless of when you visit Longqing Gorge, you absolutely must visit the Great Wall at Badaling.This section is the best-preserved part of it and is preferred by many tourists because it is not that steep and it makes for an easy climb.

How to Get There

If you want to attend the festival you have two options: by bus and by car.

The first option you have is to take the 919 bus from the Deshengmen Bus terminal and you get off at the Yangqing county. There you will have to take another bus, number 920 that will take you to the Longqing Gorge "S" train.

The second option is to drive along Badaling Highway and get off it at exit number 62, pass Yangqing County and drive a little further on the National Highway.

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