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It's Time for Ice Skating at PKU!

JAN . 26 2021
Peking University, January 26, 2021: Weiming Lake is now considered one of the most prominent landmarks of Peking University. Students might head down to the lake for a relaxing walk after classes, or simply stroll past the lake to clear their head as they make their way to a class. No matter the season, Weiming Lake is a popular spot for members of the school.
The ice skating pictures are all from previous years

But Weiming Lake wasn't always the Weiming Lake of Peking University. In fact, it has a rather fascinating history. Back in the Qing Dynasty, this lake area was part of the Shuchun Garden, given by Emperor Qianlong to his favorite minister Heshen. Although much of the original garden is no longer visible, Weiming Lake still holds a special spot in history.

Qian Mu, a prominent scholar of Chinese traditional culture, is credited with giving the lake its name - Weiming Hu (Weiming Lake), which means "a lake without a name", symbolizing the spirit of freedom.

Skating on Weiming Lake in winter has become a campus favourite. This tradition dates back to 1952, where PKU first settled in the Yanyuan campus. In the 50s, skating was so popular with the campus community that PKU opened ice skating lessons!

As winter sets in every year, Weiming Lake freezes over and is transformed into a winter wonderland. The lake, a coveted spot for relaxation or a silent night walk, is also host to fun-filled rink activities and treasured memories of on-campus skating. The Weiming Lake rink enjoys a solid reputation as one of the most attractive open-air rinks in Beijing, and is popular with students, staff, and locals.

PKU students and staff usually come after the finals season to enjoy time with family and friends. Improvised ice carriages, skating shoes and other equipment are also available for rental at an affordable fee of 5RMB/hour (students only).

Weiming Lake frozen is picturesque to boot. Where the sun hits ice, the rink glistens and shines. The Boya Tower can be spotted from the rink. On a day with good weather, it stands tall under the winter sun.

For sports lovers, ice hockey, ice wagon and curling are some of the many sports that can be carried out in the vast natural expanse.

Skating can be quite the challenge for newbies, but at our very own rink, we don't discriminate! In the warm, lilting and casual atmosphere, no matter young or old, advanced or novice, you'll get to skate at your own pace to your heart's content.

If tired after a few laps around the rink, one could head to the nearby food booth for a hot-dog (or two!), a steamy and hearty snack that adds spice to your skating experience.

The Weiming Lake rink is now open for activity! While getting ready to enjoy winter break, we would like to remind all students to exercise caution and care when heading outdoors. As Covid-19 is still a major concern, please be reminded to practice personal hygiene. Stay warm, and stay safe!

Writer: Li Wanqi, Estella Zhang Qiming
Editor: Amanda Hu
Photo: PKU Media Center, Li Wanqi
Graphic: Tan Yong Seng
Designer: Pu Hairui