TV preview: Chinese New Year 2016 – The Biggest Celebration On Earth

Presenter Jing Lusi at the Harbin Ice Festival Jing Lusi. PIC: Jack Coathupe
Presenter Jing Lusi at the Harbin Ice Festival Jing Lusi. PIC: Jack Coathupe
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This eye-opening and astonishing series immerses us in one of the most spectacular events on earth, getting to the heart of what it is to be Chinese in the 21st century.

With Kate Humble, The Hairy Bikers, actress and presenter Jing Lusi and Ant Anstead presenting across three episodes, it aims to bring China’s extraordinary annual celebration into our homes.

Episode one follows the lead up to New Year at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival – an extraordinary sub-zero celebration in China’s far north east. It’s an ice wonderland, full of people braving the cold, diving into frozen water and enjoying themselves at minus 30 degrees.

2016 is the Year of the Monkey and Kate goes in search of the extremely rare Snub-Nosed Monkeys of Yunnan, while Jing experiences the spectacular showers of sparks from ancient fireworks made from liquid metal by Mr. Xue, the last practitioner of this dying craft. .

Meanwhile, the Hairy Bikers join the largest motorbike flotilla on earth, as thousands of migrant workers in Guangzhou head for home as New Year approaches. The Bikers join the volunteers helping the convoy of bikes loaded high with people and presents.

Chinese New Year 2016 – The Biggest Celebration On Earth, BBC2, Sunday, 9pm