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Originally a Japanese practice, the concept of creating patterns on rice paddy fields has since become a worldwide hit after being adopted by farmers in the north-eastern Liaoning province of China. The Xibo farmers, are an ethnic Chinese group and by creating art in their rice fields they believe it also serves as a way of praying for blessings. In an annual tradition villagers meet every April and sketch computerised designs to determine how and where to plant the rice, as well as which differently coloured varieties to use to achieve the desired effect. See the images below to see planting through to harvest in September.
The images depicted can include everything from human figures to animals to mythical figures. Last year the farmers produced 13 images, and in 2012 a world record was set for the largest rice paddy art work ever created.
The Chinese fields are housed as part of a theme park in Shenyang city, which already attracts wedding parties and tourists, and officials are striving for even more attention. The idea has gained such publicity that several companies have already enquired whether it might be possible to have their logos made out in the rice fields.