Xinjiang man carries forward Chinese zodiac culture through snow sculpturing

2022-12-23source:People's Daily Online

Rabbits sculpted from snow are catching the attention of many local pedestrians in Jinliang township, Kokdala city, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Adbukeyum Abdukadir makes a rabbit sculpture from snow in front of his store in Jinliang township, Kokdala city, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo/Yang Junqin)

Adbukeyum Abdukadir, a 61-year-old man who created the sculptures, has continuously created the snow sculptures for the past 21 years. The sculptures feature the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, a choice Adbukeyum Abdukadir made in an effort to promote the animals of the Chinese zodiac in his neighborhood.

Adbukeyum Abdukadir developed an interest in the craft of carving when he was a child. In the early 1990s, he opened a store in Jinliang township which sells beef and mutton, as well as dried fruits.

As a sculpture enthusiast, Adbukeyum Abdukadir makes wood carving works that he places in front of his store every summer. In 2002 he started to create snow sculptures featuring the 12 animals that represent the Chinese zodiac signs.

Snow rabbits made by Adbukeyum Abdukadir. (Photo/Yang Junqin)

“The 12 animals symbolize 12 years. This is traditional culture and we need to inherit it. When people look at my snow sculptures, they learn about the zodiac signs that represent the respective years. This makes me feel very proud,” he said.

In creating a snow rabbit, Adbukeyum Abdukadir first builds a pile of snow and gradually sculpts it away to reveal the shape of the animal. He then sprays water onto the surface of the sculpture to reinforce it and make it look crystal clear.

The snow rabbits built by Adbukeyum Abdukadir have attracted photo snapping pedestrians. (Photo/Yang Junqin)

Recently the township has welcomed fresh snowfall, and Adbukeyum Abdukadir said he plans to build an eagle beside the rabbits to tell a story of eagle chasing rabbits. 

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