The entertainment options in Nanning are, like most Chinese cities, split between the modern and the traditional. Clubs such as the Oudi Entertainment Club and the Boiling Time Disco Club are popular, as are the bars and clubs in the city's hotels. Although Nanning is the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, it has nothing like the cosmopolitan life available in Shanghai and Beijing, so visitors may wish to embrace the popular Chinese pastime of singing the night away in one of the city's many KTV bars.
The calendar of festivals celebrated in Nanning includes the traditional Chinese Festivals celebrated across the country. The Chinese New year is marked by the Spring Festival, during which Nanning is alive to the sounds of fireworks and gift-giving as families come together to wish each other luck for the new year. The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated six moths later under the light of a full moon, when groups converge again to swap good wishes, moon cakes and fruit. The Dragon Boat Festival celebrated in Nanning is a vibrant time too, when boats holding anywhere from 20 to 100 rowers compete for a variety of prizes in boats intricately carved with the head and tail of a dragon.
The folk performances in Nanning available for visitors to enjoy are extensive. These include the Lion Dance which mimics the majestic animal's movements and the Bull Dance. Two Opera styles are also well known in the city: Shigong Opera and Yong Opera. The form known as Shigong Opera is made up of two styles: Pinghua and Zhuanghua. Pinghua incorporates martial arts into the performances, using props such as masks, knives and swords, and an number of fixed forms. The Zhuanghua Opera has no such fixed forms, and little dialogue. All of the operas can be enjoyed during festival times, and at the Guangxi Concert Hall. The Zhuang ethnic group has been known for their singing and performing for a long time, and the Guangxi international Folk Song Festival was founded in 1993 to formalize the folk singing, attracting performers from international destinations and groups sharing the traditional music of their own cultures.
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