Swedish Vasa Cross-country Run Visits China

The fifth China Changchun Summer Relaxation Festival will give the people of the Northeast China city a bustling and joyful summer this year.

The government of Changchun, the capital of Jilin province, has 74 events planned for this year’s summer festival, which runs from June 22 to Sept 27.

The most eye-catching parts of the summer festival will mostly likely be the international contests – the Vasa Cross-country Run and Vasa Orienteering. The two races, which bear the same name, originated in Sweden, as a way to commemorate a 16th century king and national hero, Gustav Vasa.

The Cross-country Race is expected to be held on June 25, and is expecting 30,000 competitors, according to its organizers. It will contain separate adult and children’s groups.

There will also be a Swedish-style midsummer party, from June 24 to 26, at the Jingyuetan National Forest Park, where the locals will be able to join the tourists in picnicking and dancing with foreign competitors.

The Nordic sports are part of a series of celebrations that run from May to next February. Next year is the 10th year of the Vasa sports after they were introduced from Sweden.

The anniversary celebration will include the opening ceremony for a Vasa museum, as well as an international marathon in the urban area, outdoor concerts, and cultural exchanges, such as traditional Swedish handicrafts and photo exhibits.

The other events at this year’s summer festival will cover fashion, countryside tourism, business, and conventions. There will also be a beer festival, night fairs, a tour guide contest, and a weekend tourism promotion.

The festival actually dates back to 2007, and, “has become a platform that integrates all the city’s summer events, and has attracted many tourists from other cities,” said Cui Jie, Changchun’s mayor.

Cui suggests that similar festivals be organized for the city’s various development zones, business areas, and residential communities to make the city “livelier in summer, and the people feeling its culture better”.

Cui has said that last July’s Changchun summer festival was one of the nation’s most characteristic, and it has helped Changchun to be recognized as one of the nation’s top 10 festival cities for two years running.

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