الأحد , يونيو 14 2020

The wonder of a rainbow in Beijing

A rainbow appears over the city on August 3, 2015 in Beijing, China.

The rainbow that stopped a city

There were hours of rainfall, the city was getting soaked. And then something many Beijing residents did not expect on Monday evening.

A rainbow.

Readers almost anywhere else in the world might scratch their heads at what is probably quite a commonplace phenomenon. But in smog-ridden Beijing, rainbows are rare.

Just how rare became evident in the hours that followed and into the early hours of Tuesday morning as Chinese netizens uploaded images in their thousands and shared their joy at the sight of the rainbow on social media.

“To us living in China, it was so rare and beautiful to see,” commented Weibo user TingLee. “It’s definitely not something we see very often.”

One rainbow photo, which captured the vivid colours above an urban scene, was the most popular. Suddenly Beijing was seen as if through a vintage Instagram filter.

“Could this be a sign of better things to come for our environment? I hope so,” another Weibo user said, showing how inevitably the first thoughts people had were about the state of their environment.

Rainbow mania also spread to popular Chinese instant messaging app WeChat.


When in China and if you see a rainbow, take a picture


The rainbow could be prominently seen above Beijing’s central district, as seen in this image uploaded by a Weibo user

The rainbow also excited Chinese state media. The power of the rainbow extended beyond the sheer delight and even further beyond expressions of desire for an improved air quality.

An editorial by China’s national newspaper the People’s Daily likened the rainbow’s appearance as “stabilising” China’s slumping stocks market.

“Rainbows always appear after the rain,” it said in a piece on Tuesday.


China has been closely criticised for its worsening standards of air pollution

‘Blue skies today’

On Tuesday, the BBC’s Beijing bureau was happy to report a “blue sky day”.

“It’s usually grey and depressing. Like looking at a smudgy charcoal drawing. You often can’t see some buildings,” China producer Maria Byrne reported.

“But there are even some clouds in the sky today, which we don’t normally see! So it means we can open the windows in our bureau in we want to.”


This photo taken by the BBC’s Beijing bureau shows clear blue skies in the Chinese capital on Tuesday

“Goodnight rainbow. Hope to see you again.”

The words of one satisfied viewer on Monday evening.

Have you taken a picture of a rainbow? You can share your rainbow pictures with us in the following ways:

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