International Qiantang River Tidal Bore Watching Festival

Qiantang River Tidal Bore Watching Festival, International

18th day of the eighth lunar month
The rare phenomenon known as the tidal bore, in which a tidal wave roars up a river, has always attracted thousands of spectators. Scientists have designated the massive wave that travels up the Qiantang River in China's eastern region the world's largest tidal bore. More than 300,000 people gather for this natural wonder during the autumn full moon, on a day when the gravitational pull on the water is greatest.
Yanguan Town in Haining, Hangzhou, is the best place to watch the tidal event and thus has become the host site of the festival. It coincides with the Mid-Autumn Festival (or Moon Cake Festival), a holiday celebrated throughout the Far East. Festivalgoers in Haining practice the old custom of eating moon cakes, a staple pastry of the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The Qiantang waves have been recorded as high as 30 feet. Some attendees decide to watch from a close distance, which has resulted in drownings during years when the tide is especially strong. One popular safe vantage point is the multi-storied Liuhe Pagoda, an ancient famous structure located near the river.
CONTACTS:
China National Tourist Office
350 Fifth Ave., Ste. 6413
New York, NY 10018
212-760-8218; fax: 212-760-8809
www.cnto.org
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