Welcome to what is likely the world's biggest sleep-over — happening now in Central China Normal University.
Because of summer temperatures and the fact that many of the school's air conditioners aren't fully installed yet in the dorms, the school decided to let the students send the night inside the fully air-conditioned gymnasium.
Students brought tents, bed mats, pillows, quilts from dorms, and, of course, popular card games. This group of students are playing Three Kingdoms Kill, or San Guo Sha, China's hottest card game based on legends of the country's Three Kingdoms period.
The event stayed about as appropriate as any other slumber party. There's a loose line separating girls and boys, but a little bit of flirting with the line proved harmless.
The middle of the court was quickly packed, so late arrivals have to move to the stands or dancing classrooms attached to the gym . But it's always more comfy to be bystanders – quiet away from the crowd and the spotlights.
Students waited to show their I.D. to get in the gym-size bedroom while the faculty was confirming the head counts.
The university has become famous for the tradition — yes, it's been a thing for the last few years now – but this year might be the end, since the dorm air conditioners are said to be ready in less than a month.
Sentimentality spread among students as one noted on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, "The air cons are not the point, the point is that we are commemorating time like this, which has been our memories of youth."
The spectacle has quickly gone viral on Chinese internet, and triggered different reactions — amazement, envy, hesitation, and criticism. Some raised questions such as why the dorms aren't cooled down yet, or whether it's dangerous to mix genders.
But students grew particularly protective over their school. "Only the students from our school can criticize it," one says. "Maybe our school doesn't have as good conditions as other schools, but it's doing its best to pamper us. That is enough."
One student's comment became an instant classic: "I've slept with 800 girls in Youming [the name of the gym]––– one sentence proving you are from Central China Normal University."
Beimeng Fu is a BuzzFeed News World Reporter covering China and is based in New York.
Contact Beimeng Fu at email@example.com.
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