Iranian winter festival highlights “Chinese New Year”

January 24, 2020 - 19:16

TEHRAN – A winter tourism festival opened in the Iranian city of Hamedan on Friday, concurrent with the start of the Chinese New Year, which has been selected as one of the main themes for the event.

A number of Chinese nationals and travelers have also been invited to the event, which will be running through February 9, ISNA reported.

Winter games, making snow-sculptures, storytelling sessions, ski trips, puppets shows, and gastronomy events are amongst programs planned for the festival, a local tourism official noted.

Known in classical times as Ecbatana, Hamedan was one of the ancient world’s greatest cities. Pitifully little remains from antiquity, but significant parts of the city center are given over to excavations, and there’s a scattering of historical curiosities.

Sprawling on a high plain, Hamedan is graciously cool in August but snow prone and freezing from December to March. In summer the air is often hazy, but on a rare, clear spring day there are impressive glimpses of snow-capped Alvand Kuh (3580m), sitting aloof above the ragged neocolonial cupolas of Imam Khomeini Sq.

It never falls short of offering cultural heritage sites to its visitors. Scenic natural landscapes, traditional restaurants, public gardens and colorful outdoor markets and more importantly, its hospitable people make for an unexpected slice of the city.

Last June, Iran officially waived visa requirements for Chinese nationals.

AFM/MG

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