Chinese New Year: The Biggest Celebration On Earth

Ep. 1/3 -

This extravagant, 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 fantastically rich episodes, we will mark China’s extraordinary annual celebration.

In episode one, Kate Humble, Jing Lusi and Ant Anstead follow 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.

The three also experience the New Year transport rush and crush in Beijing, following an Anglo-Chinese family back to China, joining the baggage handlers at the train station and battling through Beijing traffic.

2016 is the Year of the Monkey and Kate goes in search of the extremely rare Snub-Nosed Monkeys of Yunnan. She goes on a 'poo hunt', looking for monkey faeces to test for their health. Jing experiences the spectacular showers of sparks from ancient fireworks made from liquid metal by Mr. Xue, the last practitioner of this dying craft - his only protection is a sheepskin coat and straw hat. Ant finds out how an entire ice city is made from just frozen river water, sculpted to make full-sized buildings that are illuminated beautifully at night.

Meanwhile, the Hairy Bikers, Dave and Si, join the largest motorbike flotilla on earth, as thousands of migrant workers in Guangdong province head for home as New Year approaches. It’s an extraordinary scene as workers from the city go back to their home villages, often for the only time in a year. The Bikers join the volunteers helping the motorcyclists as they head carefully back home on bikes loaded high with people and presents.

Publicity contact: PS

DateSunday, 14 February 2016
Time9:00 PM -
10:00 PM
UpdatesConfirmed for BBC Two on 14 February at 9pm to 10pm