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Photos: Amazed southern Chinese experience first snowfall ever, make teeny-tiny snowmen

Reuters/Danish Ismail
Keeping dry.
By Zheping Huang
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Just as the US’s eastern coast was hit by a historical blizzard over the weekend, China suffered its coldest weather in decades.  On Sunday (Jan. 24) morning, 25 cities across the country registered record low temperatures.

The chill swept across the country last week, but is lifting today (Jan. 25), according to the National Meteorological Center (link in Chinese):

National Meteorlogical Center
The lowest temperatures from Jan. 21 to Jan. 25 at 7am. Red dots represent record low temperatures.

The cold wave brought plenty of excitement for southern Chinese citizens, many of whom have never seen sleet���needless to say snow—in their lives. Southern Chinese cities including Chongqing, the “Flower City” of Guangzhou, and the so-called “Green City” of Nanning saw snow mixed with rain over the weekend for the first time in decades.

Residents in downtown Guangzhou were particularly amazed, because the city’s sleet on Sunday was the first since 1949 (link in Chinese), when China started keeping meteorologic records. Now they are sharing photos of the rare, icy scenery they just experienced on Sina Weibo, and some attempts at mini snowmen. One blogger rounded up (link in Chinese, registration required) some of the more bizarre ones:

Sina Weibo
Sina Weibo
Sina Weibo

The popsicle-sized snowmen are apparently worth commemorating:

Sina Weibo

“Northerners will say the snowballs we use in snow fights are bigger than these,” one blogger commented. Another joked they were prematurely born. “When a thing is rare, it becomes precious,” one blogger in Guangzhou refuted. “Unfortunately, you Northerners can never experience the exciting feelings we have.”

During the US blizzard, some Americans took it as an opportunity to fling themselves into the snow:

Some Chinese swimmers had similar ideas, including the man in this video, who punched holes in the ice in a swimming pool with a snow shovel, and then jumped into it.

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