A piece of the Far East in the centre of Berlin
Zoo Berlin has taken on a rather oriental atmosphere: colourful lanterns adorn the trees, Qingcheng martial artists show off their skills, soft notes float from a bamboo flute, and the glorious scents of a Chinese tea ceremony fill the air. The curious giraffes crane their graceful necks while the vocal siamangs strike up a welcome concert, and even the Indian rhinoceroses have heard the joyful news: the pandas are here! Our two black-and-white bears Meng Meng and Jiao Qing have brought a little of their native homeland to the German capital. From 6 to 9 July, visitors to Zoo Berlin can immerse themselves in a colourful Far Eastern world of mystical masks, the thousand-year-old tradition of brocade and silk embroidery, and the delicate art of paper-cutting. There is also a variety of delicious Chinese specialities for guests to try as they listen to traditional folk music and admire baskets, fans, and sleeping mats made by hand from the pandas’ favourite food – bamboo.
Of course, Meng Meng and Jiao Qing themselves are also on the guest list, as they finally go on display to the public from 6 July. But it’s likely both bears will be busy gnawing their way through various types of bamboo and exploring their over 5,000 m2 Panda Garden, complete with climbing apparatus, a swing, and a rocky water course. “We want to take our visitors on a journey to the Far East and give them a glimpse into the exotic land these extraordinary bears come from,” says Zoo Director Dr Andreas Knieriem. “This is a festival for all ages, which gives guests a direct view of antelopes, monkeys and – the stars of the show – our new pandas. It’s going to be something special.”
The Chinese festival is being held from 6 to 9 July around Zoo Berlin’s Panda Garden, with a programme of events from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Musical performances and art demonstrations will take place every hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission to the Panda Garden and the Chinese festival is free. Visitors simply pay the regular Zoo Berlin ticket price at the entrance.