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Discover the Essence of Shanghai’s Spring Offerings at One Dragon

Discover the Essence of Shanghai’s Spring Offerings at One Dragon

As the crisp chill of winter melts into the gentle embrace of spring, the city of Shanghai awakens to a symphony of vibrant colors, captivating aromas, and a palpable sense of renewal. And at the heart of this culinary renaissance lies the One Dragon restaurant, a haven where the essence of Shanghai’s spring offerings is celebrated with unparalleled passion and artistry.

Zhangyuan: A Vibrant Epicenter of Tradition and Modernity

Just a stone’s throw away from One Dragon, the Zhangyuan, or Zhang’s Garden, in the heart of Shanghai, transforms into a veritable epicenter of tradition and modernity during the Chinese New Year festivities. As the Year of the Dragon dawns, this enchanting garden greets visitors with the Flourishing Spirit Dragon, an exquisite installation that seamlessly blends traditional Chinese festival culture with the city’s penchant for natural floristry.

From February 10th to 17th, the garden becomes a sensory delight, as the Spring Festival theme unfolds before our eyes. The highlight of the celebrations is a majestic 30-meter-long dragon that sprawls across North Maoming Road, showcasing an impressive dragon dance that symbolizes prosperity and good fortune for the coming year. The renowned Bi Lin Tang Troupe, with a history of over 200 years, captivates the crowds with their extraordinary skills, enveloping the city in the joyous atmosphere of Chinese New Year.

But the celebrations don’t stop there. In a nod to the cherished memories of New Year’s fireworks, Zhangyuan lights up the night sky with a breathtaking digital fireworks and light show, recapturing the essence of the festive season and illuminating the garden with a kaleidoscope of colors. This enchanting display is inspired by the hit TV series “Blossoms Shanghai,” which has reignited interest in Shanghai’s rich cultural heritage and historic architecture. Through the use of projection technology, the garden’s alleys come alive, seamlessly blending history with the vibrancy of contemporary life.

Dior’s Whimsical Window Display

As I stroll through the city, another captivating sight catches my eye – the Dior boutique at Plaza 66 Shanghai. The windows have been transformed into a whimsical world, showcasing a bucolic landscape filled with extraordinary flora and fauna. This enchanting display, reminiscent of the captivating displays at 30 Montaigne, pays homage to Dior’s storied heritage, with meticulously crafted elements using upcycled materials and remnants from the Ateliers.

The display features Dior’s latest collections for men and women, along with exquisite jewelry pieces, all set against the backdrop of nature’s beauty – a theme deeply cherished by Monsieur Dior himself. Vibrant birds of paradise, fluttering butterflies, honeybees, and owls, all fashioned from recycled objects and unused Dior Oblique fabric, captivate the senses. The signature buckle of the D of Dior, usually adorning the Saddle bag, has been reimagined into the beak of a mythical bird, while one of the Lady Dior’s charms becomes a striking feature of another fantastical animal.

This interactive display invites visitors to embark on a treasure hunt, as they identify the iconic elements of Dior’s legacy. It symbolizes the enduring bond between Dior and China, offering a poetic journey and a dreamlike exploration of the fashion house’s essence.

YI Collection’s Elegant Yet Powerful Rings

As I continue my exploration of Shanghai’s spring offerings, I stumble upon a jewelry aesthetics salon hosted by the high-end brand YI Collection. The brand’s founder, Guo Yi, shares the creative stories and meticulous craftsmanship behind each piece, captivating the gathered industry insiders and fashion bloggers.

YI Collection features natural gemstones carefully selected from Sri Lanka and Myanmar, each one sculpted and polished to perfection by master goldsmiths. The use of 18K gold adds a warm luster to the jewelry, offering comfort and a second-skin fit to the wearer. The curated selection on display includes the beloved Orbit Series and the classic chain rings, crafted from a variety of gemstones.

The Orbit Series, with its intricate craftsmanship, allows each gemstone to move freely along its track, enabling wearers to adjust the positions according to their mood. These pieces can be worn solo or layered with other YI Collection rings for a personalized look. The chain ring series, a classic offering since the brand’s inception, features a variety of styles made with 14-18K gold and an array of textured gemstones, balancing delicacy with strength. These rings are suitable for everyday wear, either alone or stacked.

Guo Yi’s journey with the chain ring series dates back to her visits to Sri Lanka and Myanmar, the world’s ruby capital. Inspired by the vibrant colors and patterns, she collaborated with local goldsmiths to craft a collection of chain rings adorned with gold links and colorful gemstones. These delicate pieces immediately captivated her friends, leading to impromptu purchases right off her fingers. Among these early admirers were buyers from 10 Corso Como, who later became the first distributors of the series. Today, YI Collection’s classic chain rings grace some of the world’s most prestigious retail stores, including Moda Operandi, Net-a-Porter, and Aman Resorts, adorning the hands of some of the world’s most beautiful women, including supermodels Liu Wen, He Sui, and Sun Feifei.

Celebrating the Year of the Dragon in Shanghai

As I immerse myself in the vibrant cultural offerings of Shanghai, I can’t help but feel a sense of anticipation for the city’s grand celebration of the Year of the Dragon. The Shanghai Municipal Government has unveiled an impressive array of events and activities to commemorate this auspicious occasion, promising an unforgettable experience for both locals and visitors alike.

According to the press release from the Information Office of the Shanghai Municipality, the city will launch a campaign centered around the theme “Blossoms Shanghai in the Year of the Dragon.” This initiative seeks to leverage Shanghai’s most resourceful and advantageous locales, enabling culture to shape tourism and vice versa. Emphasizing the city’s urban, comprehensive, and international features, the campaign will introduce eight major sections, including art exhibitions, cultural museum explorations, compelling dramas, musical performances, heritage tours, aesthetic education, scenic spot visits, and delectable culinary experiences.

One of the key highlights of this campaign is the China Art Museum’s exhibition “Pictures of China: Artworks by Lin Fengmian and Wu Guanzhong.” This third season of the “What’s Shanghai School” initiative has quickly ascended to the top of the national hot search rankings for cultural and art exhibitions, featuring over 200 precious collections from major art institutions in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, and Zhejiang. Representing the most extensive showcase of Lin Fengmian and Wu Guanzhong’s works in China, this exhibition offers an immersive experience into an epic artistic dialogue between these two esteemed painting masters.

Another captivating event is the “Stars Over China: The Ancient Shu Civilization of Sanxingdui and Jinsha” exhibition at the Shanghai Museum East. Curated from 363 cultural relics sourced from 28 cultural and archaeological institutions nationwide, this exhibition marks the most extensive archaeological relics display of the Ancient Shu Civilization outside Sichuan Province to date. With all 8,000 available slots for the exhibition booked within 5 minutes, it’s clear that the city’s residents and visitors are eager to immerse themselves in the cultural heritage of China.

Embracing the Year of the Dragon through Intangible Cultural Heritage

Recognizing the significance of the Year of the Dragon, Shanghai has also placed a strong emphasis on showcasing the traditional folk elements associated with this auspicious zodiac. By integrating Chinese aesthetics into urban life, the city is committed to a novel approach to discovering Shanghai’s intangible cultural heritage linked to the image of the Dragon, spanning major business districts and scenic spots.

One of the highlights of this initiative is the 29th Shanghai Yuyuan Garden Folk Art Lantern Festival, which draws inspiration from the stories in “The Classic of Mountains and Seas.” This vibrant spectacle weaves together intangible cultural heritage, lanterns, AI interaction, themed performances, and other artistic and technological elements, creating a mesmerizing “night of fish and dragon dance.” Furthermore, Shanghai’s iconic landmarks, including Shanghai Disneyland, the Oriental Pearl Tower, and Happy Valley, will launch themed activities and New Year markets, offering both citizens and tourists an immersive experience to fully embrace the richness of traditional New Year culture.

To facilitate a global cultural exchange, the city has also meticulously curated the English versions of Spring Festival couplets under the theme “Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Shanghai.” Furthermore, the city has engaged with international ambassadors for tourism in Shanghai to record a short video featuring celebrations by individuals from diverse backgrounds, effectively conveying the festive atmosphere of Chinese New Year reunion and joy to a global audience.

Fostering a Vibrant New Year Shopping Season

Alongside the cultural celebrations, Shanghai has also inaugurated a series of activities under the overarching theme of the 2024 New Year Shopping Season, emphasizing the motif of the booming business in the Year of the Dragon. These initiatives underscore the dynamic synergy between commerce and experiential engagement, promising a truly captivating shopping experience for both locals and visitors.

One of the focal points of this special event is the embrace of the allure of New Year shopping, with a plethora of enticing discounts on New Year goodies. Major business districts and companies have rolled out exclusive New Year limited fashion products and irresistible promotions. For example, the East Nanjing Road business district is set to unveil the innovative “District Metaverse Space,” complemented by an engaging online lucky draw. Meanwhile, Sogo Shanghai, a prominent department store in the West Nanjing Road business district, introduces the New Year Lucky Bags, covering a diverse array of thousands of products.

The second aspect revolves around cultivating a refreshing experience, immersing consumers in a vibrant atmosphere. Leading shopping destinations have integrated the theme of the Dragon to enhance their surroundings, creating visually stunning settings. The Yuyuan Garden business district’s folk art lantern festival features captivating displays both locally and in France, while the West Nanjing Road business district’s Zhangyuan and Fengsheng Li have unveiled a limited-edition lighting collection to commemorate the Year of the Dragon.

The third facet of the New Year Shopping Season delves into the new trends and nurtures fresh aspirations for a prosperous New Year market brimming with delightful flavors. Across major business districts, a myriad of festive markets and pop-up stores have sprung up, each imbued with the distinctive New Year essence of Shanghai. From the New Year market at Disney Town Shanghai Disney Resort to the Dragon Tour carnival at the Bailian Zhonghuan Commerce Plaza in Putuo District, these vibrant hubs offer a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural traditions and contemporary flair.

Embracing the Joy of Sports and Fitness

As the city gears up for the Spring Festival celebrations, Shanghai is also set to unlock the vitality of nearly 800 public sports facilities, hosting more than 20 national fitness events. Embracing diverse mass sports activities, the city promotes national fitness as a spirited way to ring in the New Year, fostering a vibrant atmosphere for working out and engaging in sports during the Spring Festival.

Recognizing the surge in popularity of ice and snow sports, Shanghai has introduced over 10 new seasonal mobile ice rinks, transforming basketball courts into versatile spaces for games in the summer and skating in the winter. This innovative approach provides an excellent venue for citizens who cherish ice and snow sports to indulge in their passion.

One of the highlights of the city’s sports calendar is the International Skating Union’s Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2024, gracing Shanghai from January 30th to February 4th. Recognized as one of the International Skating Union’s foremost annual competitions, this event stands shoulder to shoulder with the Winter Olympics figure skating competition, the World Figure Skating Championships, and the European Figure Skating Championships in terms of influence, boasting grandeur, extensive coverage, and exceptional competitive standards. Spectators in Shanghai will have the unique opportunity to savor a magnificent ice spectacle without leaving the vibrant metropolis.

Transforming Shanghai into a Park-Centric Metropolis

As the Spring Festival approaches, Shanghai’s parks and green spaces are also gearing up to play a crucial role in the city’s celebrations. In recent years, Shanghai has remained steadfast in its commitment to simultaneously enhancing the quantity and quality of its parks, refining both forms and functions to transform the city into an expansive haven and paradise.

Currently boasting a total of 832 parks, the city hosts over 800 organized park activities throughout the year, directly benefiting more than 40 million citizens and tourists. These parks serve as crucial spaces for leisure, entertainment, fitness, and as significant platforms for promoting China’s rich traditional culture.

During the Spring Festival season, a series of engaging events will unfold in 10 parks across 7 districts, embracing the Dragon theme and New Year elements. The Shanghai Zoo is initiating a series of conservation and education activities infused with the cultural essence of the Dragon zodiac, while the Shanghai Botanical Garden is set to host the captivating “Year of the Dragon Flower Exhibition,” showcasing an array of plants associated with the auspicious creature.

In addition, the Guyi Garden Spring Festival Activities, the New Year-themed series of events at the Former Site of Pathé Company, and the Gardening Lecture activities in locations such as the Shanghai Botanical Garden, Yangpu Park, and Zuibaichi Park, promise to immerse both citizens and tourists in the rich tapestry of traditional customs and the delightful flavors of the New Year.

As I wander through the verdant parks and gardens of Shanghai, I can’t help but feel a sense of wonder and anticipation for the city’s spring offerings. From the vibrant cultural celebrations to the alluring shopping experiences and the joyous embrace of sports and fitness, Shanghai has truly outdone itself in crafting an unforgettable celebration of the Year of the Dragon. And at the heart of it all, the One Dragon restaurant stands ready to welcome guests, eager to share the essence of Shanghai’s spring bounty with all who seek to discover its captivating charms.

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