A performer wow the crowd in Beijing with a less-than-appetizing snake act, putting the heads of live reptiles in his mouth during a festival for the Chinese new year.
Celebrations continued across China and the globe today with thousands of Lunar Festivals to commemorate the year of the snake.
The fair at the Ditan Temple in Beijing featured the troupe which performed with different types of snakes on stage.
The Lunar New Year remains the most important festival for Chinese people, resembling a Western Christmas with a weeklong celebration of family reunions, gifts and gastronomic excess.
The snake zodiac is said to bring financial success and a blossoming social life although it has been known to hold bad tidings and is not as loved as the powerful dragon of 2012.
‘In Chinese mythology, snakes were often associated with monsters, or with incarnations of monsters, so some political turbulence can be expected,’ said Taiwanese astrologer Tsai Shang-chi.
In China, some couples have apparently been trying to schedule their pregnancies to avoid having children born during the snake year, in contrast to the coveted ‘Year of the Dragon’.
However Tsai is largely upbeat on the new Chinese year. He believes much-needed liquidity will be injected into struggling world economies, and that babies born over the next 12 months will be both self-motivated and agile.
For souvenir makers, snakes have been a tough sell.
‘Last year, our business was a lot better, because everybody loves the dragon, whatever his or her animal sign,’ said Lin Peixiang, who owns the Beixiang Souvenir Factory in the city of Wenzhou.
‘This year, business is a lot worse, because only those born in the year of the snake love the animal.
‘The snake sign is a symbol of fear. People get scared when they see or hear the snake.’
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