HOHHOT, China, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Thirteen-year-old Zhang Yi describes his first time on the ice as a wonderful way to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
After an hour-long session of training and practice, Zhang learned how to stand steadily on the ice, daring to move forward all by himself without falling over.
"It's not so hard to do, but it is hard to describe my feeling after I was able to skate all by myself," said Zhang.
During the Spring Festival holiday, Zhang's parents drove him to the Qiansheng Ice and Snow World, just six kilometers away from their home.
"The ski resorts are everywhere this winter, as almost every county in Hohhot city hosts an ice and snow festival, and we chose the nearest one," said Zhang's mother as she watched her son skating from outside the rink.
"I don't know how to skate, but when I was a kid, we had snowball fights a lot in winter. I hope my son can start to play outside, not just in warm weather, but also during the cold winter; this will benefit his health," Zhang's mother added.
Besides skating, many people are taking to the ice and snow in other ways, the popular one being the snow saucer, which is simply a matter of bringing the saucer up to the top of an icy hill and sliding back down for the fun of it. Many people can be seen doing this over and over again for a long time.
"The climbing and sliding made me sweat; it's good to have some exercise and fun to do it together," said Ren Lixin, who was pulling two tires, one for himself and one for his 6-year-old son.
Forty-two-year-old Chen Shengguang played badminton for two hours with his teammates on Monday afternoon in the badminton stadium at the Hohhot Fitness Center, which is open for free during the Chinese Lunar New Year.
"We played badminton twice every week and it became a habit for all of us," Chen said, adding that lot of people's New Year resolutions involved keeping fit, but few followed through with action.
"I made a resolution to keeping fit as well, and I think the best way to achieve it is to do it. The Spring Festival should be a good chance for us to have some exercise, as we all have seven days off work," Chen said.