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A performer wowed the crowd in Beijing with a less-than-appetizing snake act, putting the heads of live reptiles in his mouth during a festival for the Chinese new year; the year of the snake. The Lunar New Year remains the most important festival for Chinese people, resembling a Western Christmas with a week long celebration of family reunions, gifts and gastronomic excess. The snake zodiac is said to bring financial success and a blossoming social life although it has been known to hold bad tidings and is not as loved as the powerful dragon of 2012. A fair at the Ditan Temple in Beijing featured the troupe which performed with different types of snakes on stage.

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