China's third largest city, Guangzhou, is a cultural centre having been influenced by the many dynasties that ruled it and the civilizations that interacted in its port for centuries. The old Lingnan culture of Guangzhou has certain elements of South East Asian lifestyle and is based on many folk practices and beliefs. Chinese New year is the biggest festival of the region, and like the rest of the Han Chinese dominated regions, it is characterised by large crowds migrating back to their homes to spend time with their families for the occasion. The Polo Birth festival is an old folk festival that dates back to 1000 years, and there are other season specific festivals in autumn and spring that focus on the highlights of those parts of the year. The nightlife of the city is very active and buzz with party goers. Its many restaurants also include cuisines from around the world besides the popular local fare. There are many bars and pubs for those seeking a social getaway after long hot days. Cantonese is widely spoken here because of the Cantonese origins of the region and Guangzhou's contemporary and very cosmopolitan culture ranks this economic powerhouse amongst the top Asian cities for foreigners to live in. Its successful hosting of the 2010 Asian games has also bolstered its international city reputation.
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