with ReadyClickAndGoIn less than a month from now, a great, dark dragon will arise from the depths of the underworld, and chase across the sky to devour the sun, plunging great swathes of our planet into an eerie twilight, foreboding chill and uncanny hush as even the birds fall silent. In the sky, the stars will shine with an unnatural brightness as a black disc oliterates the sun, leaving a giant diamond blazing at the edge and a pearly halo of light … this is the total eclipse of the sun across China predicted just after breakfast on the 22 nd July 2009. This almost supernatural, awe-inspiring spectacle has long been seen as the abandonment of the earth by the sun, and there will not be many people – even the most rational and unsetimenta; – who witness this eclipse and remain unmoved by the experience. For thousands of years Chinese astrologers have studied the heavens and calculated the movements of the stars, describing the cosmos in terms of legends of capricious dragons and other sinister beasts that explained to the illiterate population why they should accept the hierarchy of society in imperial China – with the emperor symbolising the sun, the life-giver. One pair of imperial Chinese astrologers failed to foretell the eclipse – and thereby endangered the life of the emperor – and so were executed. Of course nowadays we know that an eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and the earth during the course of its orbit and blocks it out for just a few minutes – but in olden times, the Chinese would bang drums and tin pots and aim arrows or canons into the sky to frighten the dragon away. Even today, they celebrate the event with loud festivities – perhaps superstition still plays a part? If you want to witness the longest total eclipse of the sun in the 21st century, and have a great time before and after the eclipse, head to Shanghai where totality is expected to last up to 5 minutes and 40 seconds – one of the best places from which to see it. To enjoy the rest of your time there, have a browse through ReadyClickAndGo extensive range of easy-to-book and great value sightseeing tours, day trips and private guided excursions in Shanghai, and combine unforgettable experiences in one of the most exciting and dynamic cities in the world!