A parade of traditional culture at the Beijing Winter Olympics
Fireworks light up the night sky during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at the National Stadium, capital of China. Photo by Xinhua/Song Yanhua.
The Chinese believe that the achievements of the coming year depend on a good start in the spring. It is a pleasant coincidence that the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics opened on the day of “Li Chun”, or the beginning of spring, the first solar term of the Chinese lunar calendar. This was reported by Xinhua News Agency.
From the Opening Ceremony, elements inspired by traditional Chinese culture prevailed both inside and outside the venues of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
During the countdown to the ceremony, the names of the 24 solar terms were presented one by one on large screens. The fireworks formed the two Chinese characters Li Chun, meaning “Beginning of Spring” and the English word “Spring”.
The 24 solar terms embody the ancient Chinese wisdom of observing nature, depict a scenic landscape when the seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter change, and reflect the Chinese people’s view of life and cosmology.
“Every minute of the opening ceremony was full of Chinese culture”, – said Zhang Yimou, chief director of the ceremony, adding that the overall creativity reflects the values and philosophies of the Chinese people.
Starting with a pre-show featuring “Chinese Square Dance”, originally created by ordinary Chinese people, Chinese elements were featured throughout the ceremony.
Guests of honor entered the National Stadium, or the Bird’s Nest, to the sound of the music “Peace – A Community of Shared Future”. Three Chinese characters, “Guo Nian Hao”, and its English version “Happy Chinese New Year” appeared on the glowing “ice” in the center of the LED floor, expressing Chinese people’s New Year’s greetings to friends around the world .
The National Sliding Center, also called “Snow Dragon”, in the Yanqing district of Beijing, capital of China. Photo by Xinhua/Zhang Chenlin.
The Winter Games take place as the Chinese celebrate their traditional Spring Festival, the most important occasion for family reunions.
“The opening ceremony is about sharing beautiful moments with everyone and spreading more common ideals of humanity”, – Zhang said.
Sports teams were led by sign bearers dressed in suits patterned with ice and snow. The signs, in the shape of a shiny snowflake, were inspired by the “Chinese knot”, which is an ancient Chinese hand-knitting craft, symbolizing togetherness and prosperity.
The teams are entered in stroke order of their team names as they are written in Chinese characters, with Turkey being the first to follow Greece. Athletes walked past the “China Gate” inlaid with traditional Chinese patterns used on windows and doors, and the “China Window” with changing images of beautiful landscapes and landscapes in China.
Just as the 24th Olympic Winter Games were declared open, a thundering canopy of fireworks shaped like a “Guest Welcoming Pin” appeared above the Bird’s Nest. The “guest welcome pine” is the symbolic landscape of Huangshan Mountain, a world heritage site in eastern China’s Anhui Province, and has become a symbol of peace and friendship between the China and people around the world.
Fireworks in the shape of a “guest welcome pin” light up the night sky during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at the National Stadium in the Chinese capital. Photo by Xinhua/Xu Zijian.
China-themed mascots have also popped up, in particular “Bing Dwen Dwen”, a panda in an icy coat compared to a popular sugar-coated local snack, which has become the country’s most sought-after mascot. .
With the Beijing 2022 emblem reflecting Chinese calligraphy and the art of seal carving found throughout the city, the Olympic Village has also been decorated with traditional Chinese paintings. Olympic medals inspired by ancient jade objects and traditional Chinese designs became an instant internet hit as medalists began posting their loot on social media.
The mascots of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Bing Dwen Dwen will be awarded to the winning athletes of the figure skating team event during the flower ceremony at the Capital Indoor Stadium in the Chinese capital. Photo by Xinhua/Lan Hongguang.
The design of competition venues also reflects some traditional Chinese wisdom. The Big Air Shougang, a venue designed for aerial events, has been affectionately named “Snowy Flying Apsaras”. Apsara is a typical dance image found in Mogao Cave murals in Dunhuang, Gansu Province, northwest China.
The National Sliding Center is called “Snow Dragon” because the track looks like a winding dragon perched on top of the mountain. The National Ski Jumping Center was given the nickname “Snow Ruyi” because it has an “S-type” curve that resembles the shape of “Ruyi”, a traditional Chinese ornamental object for good luck.