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December 31, 2010

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Shanghai prepares to welcome 2011

A SURVEY presented by has indicated that a large number of people plan to spend New Year's Eve at home. Around 200 people participated in the survey, and more than 60 percent of the respondents said they would stay at home to welcome in the new year.

However, 28 percent of the respondents said they will fight against the cold snap, going out to attend New Year parties, and they'll have several choices - celebrations will be held at Longhua Temple, Xintiandi and the 2010 World Expo site.

At Longhua Temple in Xuhui District, the annual bell ringing ceremony will still be held this year. The bell is rung 108 times, and due to its huge size, almost 200 people will be able to have a bash.

At 11pm, the first of the bell tolls will ring out, symbolizing good riddance to the old troubles of last year and blessing the coming year.

As well as enjoying a traditional Chinese welcome, people will have other options. A New Year party will take place in Xintiandi tonight, and people will be able to enjoy a fun-filled carnival atmosphere there.

As some shopping malls will hold overnight discount activities, shopaholics can greet the New Year there.

A New Year countdown will also be held at the Expo site for former Expo workers and volunteers tonight.

Famous singer Liu Huan, who sang "You And Me," the theme song of the 2008 Beijing Olympics at the Game's opening ceremony, will sing in front of the China Pavilion at 7:30pm tonight along with other singers.

All the city's post offices will open to the public during the New Year holiday. The opening hours will be from 9am to 5pm. New Year greeting cards will be available at some post offices.

Branches of the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau will not provide visa, passport and other related services for the first three days of 2011. Services will resume on Tuesday.

But people can still log on to its website,, to file certain applications, or they can dial 2895-1900 for consultation.

Local hospitals will close their outpatient departments from January 1 to 3, while emergency services will be available nonstop, said the Shanghai Health Bureau.

Doctors warned locals to keep warm during the holiday, which is forecast to be very cold. Those with chronic diseases, children, the elderly and pregnant women are advised to avoid crowded places.

Shanghai Science and Technology Museum will be open to the public during the three-day New Year holiday between 9am to 5:15pm. In addition to its normal exhibitions, the museum is currently hosting a temporary polar exhibit, displaying souvenirs brought by local scientists from the poles and information about the both regions.

Traffic restriction measures will be set around the Xintiandi area, where crowds will attend a count-down ceremony. Vehicles can not travel on Hubin Road and Shunchang Road from 12am till 1am on January 1, 2011. And five bus lines will changes their routes, traffic officials said.

But as two subways, Metro Lines 1 and 2, will prolong operating hours overnight, late-night shoppers and tourists can take trains home.

Traffic police based in the Pudong New Area said they will add officers around Nextage Department Store.


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