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September 13, 2011

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Jinshan launches tourism festival

THE Jinshan Tourism Festival will feature a parade, kite flying, a seafood fest, Buddhist temple culture, fruit picking, a group wedding and trips to inhale the fragrance of sweet osmanthus.

The festival, which runs from Sunday through October 8, is part of the Shanghai Tourism Festival.

Titled "Romance on the Beach, Fun in the Sea," the festival will cover the districts famous scenic spots and ancient towns, such as the City Beach on Hangzhou Bay, the 1,000-year-old water towns Fengjing and Zhujing, the fruit orchards of Luxiang Town and the seafood-lovers' destination Shanyang Town.

The opening ceremony will feature a parade of 22 elaborately decorated floats. The main route is Qianjing Avenue in the Shihua area. Visitors don't need to hurry because the floats will be displayed on the avenue for several hours.

A seafood gala will be held at Jinshanzui fishing village on the Hangzhou Bay, offering urban gourmands a rich variety of fish, shrimps, crabs, clams and other treats from the ocean.

During the National Holiday week, kite flying matches will be held on City Beach.

One of the highlights of the tourism festival is the group wedding that has been held each year in the water town Fengjing and last year at the Shanghai Expo Park. This year the event moves to West Lake in Hangzhou, a scenic spot famous for love stories.

Throughout September and through the end of the national holiday, Donglin Temple will hold a Buddhism Culture Festival.

In addition, Jinshan's various cottage inns and home-style village bistros are offering abundant authentic local cooking and snacks. Visitors can make traditional dumplings with the local aunties and roll up their sleeves to be one-day farmers, picking fruits in orchards or the fields or herding ducks by a lake.

Float parade

Date: September 18 (Sunday)

Venue: Weiqing Road and Qianjing Avenue in the Shihua area

The gala parade presents folk arts and cultures from China and abroad. It includes flowery floats with pretty girls from Shanghai's Yuyuan Garden, Chongming County, Fengxian District, and Shandong Province, the Tibet Autonomous Region, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Macau, as well as some floats from Indonesia and Japan. The Indonesian float features its mascot garuda, and the Japan float is a giant bowl of ramen noodles.

Fruit picking

Date: September and October

Venue: fruit gardens in Luxiang and Langxia towns

Luxiang Town is the country's largest area for growing peento peaches (the "squashed" saucer-like peach) that's famous for intense flavor and lots of juice. Visitors can pick peaches in the orchards, with help of the local farmers.

Grape planting has been expanding. Along Jinlang Road from Luxiang to Langxia towns, there are orchards and fields of strawberries, cherries, watermelon, cantaloup, kiwi and jujube.

The two towns are like Shanghai's "back garden."

Group wedding

Date: September 28

Venue: Fengjing Town and West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province

Every year the ancient water town hosts a traditional group wedding party for couples who are interested in Chinese folk culture and want their big day to be different. The party now has become a classic in the Shanghai Tourism Festival.

Brides dressed in red satin and bridegrooms will take a boat ride in the town's crisscrossing rivers.

This year the wedding party goes to West Lake, renowned for the love story about the white serpent sorceress Bai Suzhen and mortal scholar Xu Xian.

Twenty couples will tie the knots.

Seafood Festival

Date: through October 10

Venue: Jinshanzui fishing village

Located on Hangzhou Bay and the East Sea, the village is famed for its seafood among city diners. On holidays and weekends, many people drive from the city centers to the beach to enjoy the mouth-watering fresh seafood. They choose their own dinner and direct the many cooks.

The sea is bountiful. In spring there are white shrimps, yellow croakers, hairtails, crabs and pomfrets. In June banshua fish (shaped like a brush) and blue crabs are in season. In July there are anchovies and mackerels. And October sea eels and sauries swimming from the Yangtze River are the best seasonal dish. From November through the end of the year, it's time for blue crabs. In September, Nearly all these seafoods are available.

Kite flying

Date: October 1-7

Venue: the City Beach

Although the sky is filled with kites, this is the first time a match will be held. Visitors are welcome to take their kites and challenge the sea winds.

Donglin Temple Buddhism Culture Festival

Date: through October 8

Venue: Donglin Temple

The temple was originally built in 1308 for worship of Guanyin (the bodhisattva associated with compassion). It was totally rebuilt starting in 2004 and completed in 2007.

Today the 20-hectare temple in Zhujing Town has become a destination for both pilgrims and tourists from around the world. It is one of five important Buddhist sites in the city's southwest area.

Osmanthus garden

Date: September 28 - October 8

Venue: Osmanthus Garden, Fengjing Town

September is the month when sweet, fragrant osmanthus blooms. Occupying 2,000 mu (133 hectares), it is China's biggest osmanthus park.


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