A visitor poses for photos at the Capital Museum in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 10, 2024. (Xinhua/Ren Chao)

BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — Tracing images of loong, the Chinese dragon, in the Forbidden City, learning about stories of loong summoning rain in royal altars, and buying Chinese dragon mascots — these are just some of the new experiences awaiting Beijing residents and visitors during the 2024 Chinese New Year.

To celebrate the Year of the Dragon which started on Saturday, the likes of museums, parks and scenic spots in Beijing are offering a plenty of activities and cultural products with the Chinese dragon theme.

A cartoon loong statue can be seen in front of the 700-year-old Hong’en Taoist Temple, which is hosting an immersive loong exhibition in tribute to its location at what was considered the city’s “dragon tail” back in the 13th century.

“We have received nearly 20,000 visitors in just over 20 days since the temple reopened after renovation,” said Chen Xue, general manager of the temple’s management organization.

Beijing’s Central Axis is seen by some as the city’s “dragon vein.” Many cultural sites along this axis have rolled out loong-themed souvenirs to attract tourists.

According to the municipal government, Beijing has created and made available close to 100 creative cultural products themed on loong ahead of the 2024 Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival.

The Beijing Confucian Temple and Imperial College Museum launched a series of creative cultural products themed on “Ao,” one of the nine sons of the loong in Chinese mythology. Their blind boxes were quickly sold out, said Yan Jing, a director of the museum.

“Cultural products are increasingly popular as New Year goods, and their booming sales have added zest to the festival while boosting consumption,” said Duan Tiyu, chairman of Beijing Gongmei Group, a company known for making and selling traditional cultural gifts.

More than 100 museums in Beijing will stay open during this year’s Spring Festival, and Beijing will also launch 10 museum tour routes to cater to increasingly culture-savvy tourists.