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Snowy Scene in Chilly Land

The term "winter" reminds people of a snowy white world where the fields covered with snow and everything on them stands still like white statues.

If you want to appteciate the splendid winter scenery, you would be proposed to make a tour on Changbai Mountain where the Tian Lake, sur rounded with ice-capped peaks, is really worth seeing, or to have a look at the beautiful rime by the dike of Songhua River in Jilin province, ar to pay a visit to the ice carving made with extremely skill ful workmanship in Harbin Cicy.

Never theless, these snowy scenery is not only seen in winter season, but can be found in some places throughout the year.

Most areas of Qing-Zang Plateau are the places which are over 4,000 metres above sea level and covered with snow all the year, so they ate called snowy territory which has its specific landscapes and magnifi cent scenery.

The Mounc Everest with its height of 8,848.l3 metres above sea level is the highest peak in the world.

Its pyramidal summit has accumulated ten million-year snow and ice and shines against the blue sky. Its grand glacier extends as far as 26 kilometres and links the peak with its neighbors and the forests at: Lower part. Stepping in the Rongbu Monastery, be lieved as the highest monastery in the wotld, and gazing at the distance, we can see the Mount Everest appears so solemn and magnificent in fluttering of the Bud dhist streamets and sound of the aeolian bells that no one could replace its holy position in man's heart and give definite expressions when one is facing it. This may be the mystery of it.

The Potala Palace should be the first visiting place when you travel the snowy territory ofTibet. This man-made zscen ery stands on the Red Hill in Lhasa City, and covers an area of 130,000 square metres. It is the winter palace for the Dalai Lama since it has been built and used to be the ruling centre of Tibetan religion and politics. Potala is a Sansktit term meaning Buddhist shrine.

The palace was built in the 7th century by Songpsan Gambo, one of the Tibetan kings, for con jugating with Wencheng princess of Tang Dynasty, but destroyed in wars.

The existing palace was built in 17th century. It is built on the hill side, and stories ris ing one higher than another. Its gold plat ing roofs make it even more splendid and magnificent.

The palace shows typical Tibetan architectural style. Inside the pal ace, halls for worshipping Buddha, bed rooms, tomb tower yards and rooms for chanting scriptures impress the visitors deeply with abundant Tibetan cultute and the historical origins of the relation ship of Han and Tibetan nationality.

If we call the area of Lhasa the fron tal part of Tibet, the area of Xigaze should be rear part of Tibet. The Zhaxihunbo Monastery in Xigaze has important posi tion in the Tibetan history, and it is the centre where the Baingen Erdeni holds religious and political ceremonies.

The Monastery covers about 2 square kilometres and consists of 4 Buddhist schools. There are various cultural relics in monastery, such as frescoes, Banchan Tomb towers, Buddha figures, Buddha paintings, embroideries, sacrificial ves sels, Chinese wears and seals, documents issued by the emperors in Ming and Qing dynasties, which attract lovers of Tibetan culture.

The best time for visiting Tibet is in the period from the late sixth lunar month to the early eighth lunar month, when it is warm and genial. It is the period for the Tibecans to sun the Buddha figures and paintings, dance for worshipping gods, bathe in rivers and celebrate the Great Master Zongkaba, mark the day of the founder of Gelug sect (Yellow sect) of Buddhism becoming a saint.

Besides Ti betan New Yeat, it is the second major festival with typical Tibertan features and draws many Buddhists to pilgrimage there, as well as many visitors both from home and abroad.

Everyone who has once visited Tibet agrees that you are not really in Tibet if you don't visit Ali, where is over 4,000 metres above sea level on the average, and almost covered by snow and ice through out the year.

The air there contains so little oxygen that people can hardly live there. In spite of that, it still draws people to visit there, for vestige of Guge king dom lies on the foot and top of the hills which covers about 180,000 square metres.

The collapsed walls, the dustladen armours, shields and arrows always make people imagine the rise and fall of the kingdom about 1,000 years ago.

If you go on a trip to Northeast China in midwinter and pay a visit to Tian Lake on Changbai Mountain, you will feel chilly cold there that you could never experience in winter on plains.

On the ice-capped top of peaks, you will see that the water in this ten square kilometres lake has become a hard ice mirror, and you may feel that you are in the far past when earth has been born.

The magma spurted from the volcano two million years ago has long been hardened and become cliffs surrounding the lake, the volcano is covered by hard thick ice due to the chilly cold weather. Perhaps it is unity of ice and fire that fascinates visi tors.

The rime in Jilin province and ice carvings in Harbin city give visitors mild and light feeling. The rime on the twigs of tall willows looks like the jade and sil ver thing, while the pine trees are like gi ant silver flowers. At night in Harbin, the ice carvings are shined by lamps which change colours constantly.

They are trans parent as glass, but more sensitive to any dim light and shadow. Someone say that ice fotmed from water and is difficult to be carved, but I believe that the inner structure and inner vitality of ice could be acquainted, then proper techniques would work out the best expressions of them.

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