Marching To Christmas: China's Chocolate Terracotta Warrior Army

How to celebrate the coming of Christmas in Xi'an, China's ancient capital and home of the famed Terracotta Army? For local bakers and confectioners, the answer is to cast about 300 miniature replicas of the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty's afterlife bodyguards in fine Belgian chocolate, then top each one with a marzipan Santa hat. 

The display can be seen up close and personal at a hotel in Xi'an, where more than more than 8,000 soldiers and hundreds of horses, chariots and other related figures were cast in terracotta (a type of clay-based ceramic); then buried in the late third century BCE to protect the Emperor in the next world.

Xi'an's citizens take pride in the still largely buried terracotta army and the city's long and storied history. The bakers behind this modern-day chocolate holiday tableaux sought to combine this local aspect of Chinese history with today's fascination with Christmas and its accompanying seasonal decorations.

It took the bakers and confectioners about 10 days to cast and decorate the roughly 300 chocolate soldiers. There's no word if one bearded commander features an implanted chip that plays “THIS IS XI'AN!” every few minutes, because that would be awesome. (via China Daily)

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