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Folk Customs

The residents of Harbin are dominated by the Han people mainly from Shandong Province and Hebei Province. In the 1920s and 1930s, Harbin had many foreign nationals, most of whom were from Russia. Due to the influence of the folk customs of non-local people and foreign nationals, Harbin people have formed a diverse dietary culture dominated by Northeastern local dishes, Shandong cuisine and Beijing cuisine. Russian food, mainly Sourdough khleb (a kind of big bread), smoked sausage and Borscht have also become table foods of the ordinary people. Due to the influence of the folk customs of ethnic minorities, Harbin people also like to eat sticky rice cakes, sticky bean bread, corn pancakes, coarse corn porridge and millet rice. 

Beer: Harbin people love beer and many people regard beer as ordinary drinks, with many people demonstrating the generosity and enthusiasm of northerners by drinking beer. Harbin has the earliest breweries in China, ranking first in per capita beer consumption in the country.

Yangge Dance: It is a traditional folk group dance for entertainment and people doing the Yangge dance can be seen in the streets of Harbin throughout the years. During the Lantern Festival, Yangge dance competitions are held in all districts and counties (prefectures). 

Winter swimming: Winter swimming is a sports activity with rich cultural characteristics in Harbin, demonstrating the strong will of Harbin people. In winter, the outdoor temperature falls to -10°C, or even more than -20°C! Winter swimming enthusiasts break the ice on the Songhua River to open up ice swimming pools. People swim around 5am or 6 am before the sun rises and winter swimming performance is usually given between 10am and 2pm.

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