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Shunyi is once again clearing out and quieting down as we head into the biggest holiday on the Chinese calendar. Spring Festival (January 31 to February 6) is hugely important to locals, who invariably spend it with their families. For migrant workers and other non-Beijingers, that means an annual exodus with packages both big and small in tow. Along Jingmi Lu, you might have noticed vendors selling popular children’s gifts such as remote-controlled cars and dolls.
If you’re staying in the city and this is your first Chinese New Year, brace yourself for the racket of fireworks on New Year’s Eve (January 30) and the first day of the Spring Festival (January 31). It is customary to eat jiaozi (dumplings) on New Year’s Eve and check out a temple fair (click here for ideas on where to go).
Leaving Beijing and need a place to board your cat or dog? I recommend World Care Pet on Shunbai Lu, close to The Orchard. Kiki Chen helped us bring our Bernese mountain dog into China from overseas. Since we moved here, Chen and her team have been our default choice for pet boarding.
While our dog stays at World Care Pet, he is taken for a walk twice a day, fed regularly, and gets to play with other dogs. We like that he gets to socialize because the dogs are not kept in individual cages. The staff sends regular email updates and photos of the dogs playing together.
We also use World Care Pet’s grooming services, which is not an easy task given his breed. Our dog has a lot of thick fur, but the staff does a good job of drying him out and he has never come home with that wet dog smell. There’s also a water massage service for dogs where they are submerged in a pool and their limbs massaged to ease out any stiffness.
Boarding big dog breeds costs up to RMB 100 per day (including food), basic bathing or grooming services cost RMB 150, and pickup or delivery of pets from your home costs RMB 50-100 one way depending on distance.
Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby
The Cub Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America Beijing Chapter, Pack 3944 just held their annual Pinewood Derby competition at the International School of Beijing (ISB) last Saturday. Each member of the pack was given a car-making kit to work on with their parents. The kits usually contain a block of pine, plastic wheels and metal axels. The boys were encouraged to make their own designs and the final cars measured roughly six inches long.
The cars had to be made according to weight specifications (5oz maximum), with a weigh-in and check-in taking place the night before the race. The following day, each car competed in four heats of a four-track race. Qualifying cars then moved on to a semi-final and a final to determine the top four.
The track was assembled by parent volunteers who were also in charge of monitoring the race. Older Boy Scouts lined up the cars at the starting line, released the latch, and submitted the cars in finishing order to the scorekeepers.
The actual race lasted only four seconds per heat, but it was a fitting finish to several weeks of hard work by the scouts and their parents. Special prizes were awarded for most creative designs, best workmanship, and best sportsmanship.
Beijing United Shunyi Clinics Spring Festival Hours
Note that the Beijing United Shunyi clinics will be closed on some days during the Spring Festival:
Shunyi Clinic closed January 30 and 31, open February 1 and 2 from 9.30am-4.30pm. For appointments at the Shunyi clinic, call 8046 5432.
Dental Clinic closed January 30 and 31, February 1, 2 and 3; open February 4, 5 and 6 from 9.30am-4.30pm. For appointments at the Dental Clinic, call 8046 1102.
24-hour Service Center can be reached at 400 891 9191 and 24-hour the Emergency Room at 5927 7120.
We’d like to hear from you! What are your Shunyi favorites? Any recommendations or bits of news you’d like to see on Shunyi Happenings, feel free to email Dana at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dana is the beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent. Originally from the Philippines, she moved to Beijing in 2011 (via Europe) with her husband, two sons and Rusty the dog. She enjoys writing, photography, theater, visual arts, and trying new food. In her free time, she can be found exploring the city and driving along the mountain roads of Huairou, Miyun and Pinggu.
Photo by Dana Cosio-Mercado