Xinhua Headlines: People worldwide embrace Dragon Year Spring Festival celebration-Xinhua

Xinhua Headlines: People worldwide embrace Dragon Year Spring Festival celebration

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-13 21:10:35

* This year's Chinese Spring Festival coincides with the Year of the Dragon. As the totem of the Chinese nation, the dragon is deemed strong, fearless and benevolent.

* Rich cultural activities allows people worldwide to satisfy their curiosity about Chinese culture and get acquainted with China's customs and history.

BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese dragon, also known as the "loong," is prominent in Chinese mythology as a legendary and auspicious creature. Unlike their European counterparts, Chinese dragons don't exhale fire. Instead, they are often linked with water, symbolizing traits associated with business prosperity, abundant harvests and good health.

As the totem of the Chinese nation, the dragon is deemed strong, fearless and benevolent, said Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Spring Festival greetings to all Chinese.

This year's Chinese Spring Festival coincides with the Year of the Dragon, adding extra excitement to global celebrations. It also allows people to satisfy their curiosity about Chinese culture and get acquainted with China's customs and history.


People worldwide are embracing vibrant celebrations in this year's Spring Festival -- from the bustling streets in Zurich, Switzerland, to the colorful events in Harare, Zimbabwe, the air is filled with excitement.

This photo taken on Feb. 2, 2024 shows the image of a dragon projected on clouds in Davos, Switzerland. This was the projection work by Swiss light artist Gerry Hofstetter. (Photo by Mike Kessler/Xinhua)

Michael Hitz, a Swiss national, joined his Chinese neighbor at a Spring Festival event in Zurich, Switzerland, where he enjoyed Chinese delicacies. "Authentic Chinese food is indispensable for Lunar New Year events like today," he said.

On the first day of the Lunar New Year, people from different communities gather in a Year of Dragon celebration event organized by the Chinese Traditional Culture Association of Zurich.

Participants enjoyed a cultural feast of traditional Chinese art, including children's chorus, guzheng (a Chinese plucked string instrument), dance and martial arts, before indulging in over 20 varieties of Chinese delicacies.

Lu Jinlian, president of the Chinese Traditional Culture Association of Zurich, told Xinhua that approximately 230 guests shared the hybrid celebration event.

In Zimbabwe, vibrant local dances and drum performances were presented at the China-Zimbabwe Friendship High School in Harare, the country's capital, days before the Spring Festival to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.

At the scene, local students attending the event enjoyed the opportunity to learn Chinese martial arts, and they were also awed by a Chinese martial arts performance by a visiting troupe from the Henan Provincial Shaolin Wushu Training Center.

"Today, I joined the Chinese Kung Fu group. The martial art is difficult, but it's amazing," said Brenda Moyo, a student from the school.

Zimbabwean students learn Chinese martial arts from a member of a visiting troupe from the Henan Provincial Shaolin Wushu Training Center during a cultural exchange event in Harare, Zimbabwe, Jan. 31, 2024. (Photo by Tafara Mugwara/Xinhua)

A troupe from central China's Henan Province staged a colorful show during the Chinese New Year celebrations at Furi Lebu Railway Station, west of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Feb. 3.

A Chinese language student at Addis Ababa University, Temesgen Yitayew, said he was delighted to see the acrobatics performance.

"As you can see, I am carrying the national flags of China and Ethiopia to portray that there are growing cultural and people-to-people ties between the two countries," Yitayew said.

Abdi Zenebe, chief executive officer of the Ethio-Djibouti Railway Share Company, told Xinhua that the show has brought a festive vibe to the railway station and surrounding community.


The China Cultural Center in Myanmar's commercial hub, Yangon, adorned with vibrant red cultural decorations, bustled with visitors enjoying the Dragon Year Spring Festival.

Phoo Pwint Khine, 32, said: "This is my first time attending such a New Year celebration event at the cultural center. I'm experiencing their traditional culture and admiring their calligraphy and paper-cutting works."

The Spring Festival event, organized by the Embassy of China in Myanmar at the China Cultural Center in Yangon, was adorned with red lanterns, couplets and various styles of Chinese calligraphy.

Visitors learn paper cutting during the opening of the Happy Chinese New Year event at the China Cultural Center in Yangon, Myanmar, Feb. 4, 2024. (Photo by Myo Kyaw Soe/Xinhua)

In Slovakia, people attended a concert celebrating the traditional Chinese New Year held at Bratislava, the country's capital. Chinese musicians presented a performance featuring traditional Chinese music and the traditional Slovak folk song "Na Kralovej holi."

"Events like this should be held more often to support cultural exchange. It was interesting to hear that many songs featured traditional Chinese instruments, but the melodies reminded me of Western music," said Jana Benicka, Slovak director of the Confucius Institute at Comenius University.

"Today's concert will also take us through Chinese melodies, into Chinese history and unique culture, which has positively influenced and enriched mankind for thousands of years with its precious philosophy, literature, and architecture," said Marek Estok, the country's state secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

In Ethiopia, the cultural vibes from central China's Henan Province resonated in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa as a captivating troupe infused the essence of the Spring Festival into their performance.

Their repertoire included acrobatics, martial arts, face-changing, and a delightful mix of Chinese and traditional Ethiopian dances, creating an enchanting atmosphere at the Ethiopian National Theater.

Kebede Kassa, an employee in the Addis Ababa City Administration, told Xinhua that he enjoyed the cultural show very much, noting that the Chinese cultural shows have been his favorite since childhood.

"I am so happy that the Chinese cultural troupe has come to Ethiopia. This event was unique in that it displayed a mix of Chinese and Ethiopian (African) cultures," said Kassa.


To celebrate the New Year, the Chinese community in Nigeria held a carnival celebration in the Nigerian capital of Abuja. For Adeshina Adegboye, a Nigerian mechanical engineer, the festive atmosphere in his city was "electrifying."

"As you can see, this celebration clearly shows the shared joy of the Chinese and their Nigerian friends," said Adegboye, a first-time attendee of the annual temple fair, a traditional cultural event featuring various kinds of Chinese folk art.

People watch the traditional Chinese lion dance to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year at the Champs Elysee avenue in Paris, France, Feb. 4, 2024. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)

Martins Ifeanyi, a Nigerian businessman, told Xinhua that the celebration was about welcoming a new year and connecting communities, adding that the event was a clear celebration of shared experiences.

"This celebration is more than just traditions," enthused Amina Yusuf, a Nigerian woman who attended the event with her two daughters. "This looks more like a mixtape of cultures coming together. It is interesting to know that the Chinese believe that the Year of the Dragon will bring positive vibes. And we are thrilled to share that with them."

To immerse oneself in the vibrant festivities of dragon and lion dances, enchanting fish lantern displays, and captivating Hanfu performances, one must not overlook the dazzling performances of the Chinese community on the iconic Champs-Elysees in Paris.

A temporary "pedestrian zone" stretching about 300 meters from the Fouquet's restaurant to near the Arc de Triomphe allowed some 50,000 people to enjoy the performances, according to statistics from the Chinese Tourism Office in Paris.

"Magnificent event, the first time I've seen an event like this personally, it's grandiose," Jean-Baptiste, who visited the zone, told Xinhua. "There's no better place to do it; it feels good to see colorful events like this from another culture."

Foreign leaders and heads of international organizations have sent their festive blessings to the Chinese people, voicing their expectations for stronger bilateral relations and win-win cooperation with China.

The United Nations officially included the Spring Festival as a floating holiday in its calendar of conferences and meetings starting in 2024. The arrival of this year's Spring Festival has garnered blessings from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"I'm pleased to send my warmest greetings as we usher in the Year of the Dragon. The Dragon symbolizes energy, wisdom, protection, and good luck," Guterres said.

"We need these qualities to rise to today's global challenges," said Guterres. (Video reporters: Sun Xinjing, Deng Min, Li Hualing, Lu Huaiqian, Wu Lu, Du Juan, Huang Heng; video editors: Wu Yao, Zhao Xiaoqing)


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