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February 2, 2011

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Spring Festival guide to the city


The city will be quieter than usual during the next seven days as many people have left town for the holiday and some public services operate reduced schedules. Here's a list of useful information and getaway options to welcome the Chinese Year of the Rabbit.


It will be a mild Spring Festival holiday, weather forecasters said.

With sufficient sunlight during the day, the mercury climbed quickly to 6 degrees Celsius around lunchtime yesterday from a low of minus 2 degrees before daybreak, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.

Temperatures are expected to climb further over the next eight days, with highs up to 16 or 17 degrees as the weather stays mostly cloudy, the bureau said.

More fog and haze is forecast on Friday through Monday as humidity intensifies under the influence of southern winds, the bureau said.

Holiday weather forecast:

Feb 2 (Wed) sunny to cloudy 1-12 °C

Feb 3 (Thu) cloudy to overcast 3-13 °C

Feb 4 (Fri) overcast to cloudy 4-13 °C

Feb 5 (Sat) cloudy to sunny 5-14 °C

Feb 6 (Sun) cloudy 8-15 °C

Feb 7 (Mon) cloudy to overcast 9-16 °C

Feb 8 (Tue) overcast to cloudy, slight drizzle 10-14 °C

Outing Options

China Pavilion

Huge crowds are expected at the China Pavilion during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, officials said yesterday.

The pavilion will open daily from 9am to 5pm during the holiday.

Long queues are likely from Friday until the end of the holiday with the peak hours from noon to 2pm, the organizer said.

The pavilion may also extend its hours if too many visitors are waiting outside, said Qian Zhiguang, director of the China Pavilion Department of the Expo Bureau.

Traditional decorations including red lanterns, Chinese knots and paper-cuttings will be added to the pavilion. Two giant cartoon rabbit sculptures will welcome visitors at the entrance.

Mercedes-Benz Arena

The former Expo Culture Center will open an outdoor corridor to the public for free from tomorrow. The corridor circles the arena and was known to have the best views of the Expo site. The venue on Shibo Avenue is open from 10am to 10pm every day.

Zoo and wildlife park

The city's zoo and wildlife park may be the best place to watch some bunnies. Nearly 10 breeds, including lops and long-haired rabbits, will be exhibited at Shanghai Zoo and Shanghai Wildlife Park. Children can pet the bunnies and feed them cabbage or other vegetables, officials said.

Both the zoo and wildlife park will also hold lectures to promote knowledge about raising rabbits.

"Although rabbits are not rare animals, they are difficult to raise," said Pan Xiuwen, an official with the zoo. "We want children to learn how to correctly raise rabbits,"

Yuyuan Garden

Traditional Spring Festival activities will take place at several venues in the city. Yuyuan Garden is expected to be the busiest as a huge rabbit lantern has been set up. The time-honored temple fair will be open everyday during the holiday.

Guyiyuan Garden

Guyiyuan Garden in suburban Jiading District will hold a lantern event. Each lantern will feature a riddle. The garden staff will be on hand to give out prizes to those who correctly solve some riddles. People will also be able to play traditional Chinese games.


The city's Metro operator said there is no plan to extend subway services late at night, but extra trains will be available to handle huge passenger turnout.

Officials said six escalators will be out of use at People's Square Station during the holiday. Guides will be in the station to help people transfer between Lines 1, 2 and 8.

Additional long-distance bus services will be added to nearby provinces like Jiangsu and Zhejiang for the holiday.

A shuttle bus at Shanghai South Long-distance Bus Station will be available to take passengers to the China Pavilion.

Post Offices

The city's post offices will remain open during the Spring Festival holiday. During the first three days of the holiday post offices will be from 9am to 5pm. For the remaining four days of the holiday, service times will return to the normal 7am to 7pm.

Visa Services

The Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau will not provide visa, passport and other related services during the seven-day holiday.

Services will resume on February 12. People can still visit its Chinese language website,, to file certain applications, or dial 2895-1900 for consultation.


Most banks in Shanghai will be open in busy areas during the holiday, but hours will vary.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, for example, will open 50 percent of its branches in Shanghai during the first three days of the holiday while 60 percent will be open for the rest of the festival.

To get the opening hours of your local branch call: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China: 95588; Agricultural Bank of China: 95599; Bank of China: 95566; China Construction Bank: 95533; Bank of Communications: 95559; Bank of Shanghai: 962888.


Most hospitals will close outpatient services from today through February 8 for the Spring Festival but emergency services will still be available, the Shanghai Health Bureau said.

Shanghai East Hospital announced it will open outpatient services today and February 6-8. Shanghai No. 10 People's Hospital said its outpatient service will be open for the entire holiday.

Landscape Lighting

The Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau said landscape lighting in the city will be on today through Sunday. The lights will be on from 6pm today to 12:30am tomorrow, and from 6pm to 10:30pm on the other nights. Officials said this schedule will give people more time to enjoy the scenery. The landscape lighting includes the historic buildings along the Bund, the skyscrapers in Lujiazui and prominent bridges.


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