SHANGHAI, Sept. 29 -- A carnival for kids, the Shanghai International Children's Expo, will highlight the National Day holiday. The golden week will feature fireworks, traditional opera, TV galas and a piggie sports meet, writes Xu Wei.
The coming National Day holiday will offer something for everyone, especially kids. The 2007 Shanghai International Children's Expo opens at Pudong's Century Square on Monday. The seven-day exhibition, which is also the biggest children's expo in China, will showcase education, culture and arts for both local and expat children.
"It will be a carnival for kids," says Zhang Bin, an official of the organizing committee. "More than 150,000 people are expected to attend."
Last year the first Shanghai International Children's Expo attracted about 80,000 visitors. Children from more than 10 countries and regions staged about 150 performances.
And this year children are encouraged to get involved in the animation zone, science interaction maze, talent shows, contests and puzzles. The whole family can enjoy interactive games, sand sculpture and mini golf.
Additionally, they can enjoy cultural and art performances, including Russian tap dance, Brazilian samba, Spanish paso doble and puppet shows.
According to the Chinese lunar calendar, this year is the Year of the Pig. The expo will present a hilarious animal sports meet in which 20 cute piggies will compete in swimming, running and jumping through hoops.
Children can watch a story of marine creatures on a giant 360-degree dome screen. The 45-minute film centers on two little fish who save all the ocean creatures with their courage and faith.
No worries if visitors are hungry: They can taste typical street food, snacks, desserts and specialties from all over the world.
At the expo closing, 2,010 colorful balloons made by kids will rise into the sky to pay tribute to the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
The children's expo tickets cost 60 yuan (US$7.80) and 2,010 tickets have been donated to the athletes and volunteers of the Special Olympics opening Tuesday.
At the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, some of the most dangerous and venomous creatures will be on display, including the frogfish, dragon moray eel and porcupine fish.
Families can register for special lessons from aquarium experts to increase their knowledge about the ocean. Kids can also join a painting contest and express their imagination about the sea.
The Chinese multimedia spectacular "Era - Intersection of Time" has just celebrated two years of riveting daily shows. So far "Era" has staged around 800 shows since its premiere at Shanghai Circus World on September 27, 2005.
New elements have been added, creating a more glamorous multimedia stage. The backdrop now includes traditional Chinese ink-wash paintings and animated images of the Chinese zodiac.
Costuming has been enhanced: some performers will wear fashionable totem-like face paint and feather head ornaments.
Visitors to Century Park can enjoy the Eighth International Music Fireworks Festival; three shows will be held on Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
The ingenious shows directed by renowned pyrotechnic designers from the United States, Slovenia, Portugal and China will create a romantic, artistic world.
Traditional opera fans will enjoy the Nanxiang Town Temple Fair on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Celebrated artists of Yueju Opera, Peking Opera and Huju Opera, including Zhao Zhigang, Shang Changrong and Mao Shanyu, will present excerpts from the classics in the birthplace of Shanghai's dim sum.
"We will also provide fans with a platform to showcase their own singing and performing skills," says Chen Yi, an official with the organizing committee of the event. "We hope to promote these age-old art forms in modern days."
And Shanghai Madame Tussauds Wax Museum presents a one-month display of its new wax figure of South Korean star Bae Yong-jun. Bae rose to fame for his performance in the TV drama "Winter Sonata." Fans will also be able to meet surprise guests.
Television will air special holiday programs too. On Wednesday, Shanghai Media Group's Dragon TV presents an evening gala to mark the National Day. A pop music gala honoring Asia's hottest stars will be broadcast next Sunday. South Korean heartthrob Kim Dong-wan and "My Hero" contestant Zhang Chao will attend.
From Monday through October 7, SMG's News Entertainment Channel and Arts Entertainment Channel will present popular movies nightly, including "Confession of Pain," starring Tony Leung and Xu Jinglei, Ann Hui's "The Post-Modern Life of My Aunt" and the Hong Kong police film "Protege."
The detailed screening schedule can be found at www.smg.cn.