Performers play the dragon dance

Worldwide celebrations for Chinese lunar New Year

China Central Television (CCTV) – Activities have been held across the world to celebrate Chinese Spring Festival, the most important festival in China.

At least 1,000 overseas Chinese and Belgians participated in a “Happy Chinese New Year” parade in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, on Saturday.

Artists and other people from the two countries, in 18 square formations, performed martial arts, dragon dancing, lion dancing and so on, attracting many spectators on the street to join in their performance and pose for photographs with the performers.

A flash mob act featuring scores of performers dressed in monkey costumes staged a modern interpretation of a classic Chinese story on New York’s Times Square on Saturday.

To welcome the Year of the Monkey, which begins on Feb. 8, children from mostly Chinese American families put on monkey face paint or masks and performed an act from the Beijing Opera classic “Journey to the West.”

The story centers on the tales of a fictional cultural icon – the Monkey King.

The event was organized by American Chinese communities in New York City. The organizers said they hoped to introduce the culture of Chinese lunar New Year to more people and to deliver Chinese people’s good wishes of the spring to tourists from all over the world.

In Manchester’s Chinatown, home to the UK’s second largest Chinese community, hundreds of lanterns have been put up in major commercial strips and the town hall plaza, and will be lit on the night of Feb. 12. The local government has even decorated the town hall with banners and posters for the celebration.

The 2016 “Happy Chinese New Year” event in the French capital of Paris, various Chinese cultural activities, including making dumplings and writing with Chinese writing brush, were also held in the Chinese Cultural Center in Paris Saturday.

Participants of the event said they learned much about the Chinese culture from the event and that such events can facilitate cultural exchanges between the two countries.

“These events are very interesting. I have learned much about the Chinese culture since I studied learning Chinese. For example, I know turning the Chinese character ‘Fu’ or ‘Blessing’ in English upside down means blessing is coming. It is important for people from different countries to understand each other,” said Mireille, a student of the Chinese Cultural Center in Paris.

Meanwhile, a dinner party was held at the China Town in South African capital Cape Town on Saturday to welcome this year’s Chinese Lunar New Year.

Chinese people and local residents attended the party that featured Chinese-style food, enjoying the festive atmosphere.

“It’s just wonderful to be together with our Chinese community in Cape Town. The food was amazing. The atmosphere was wonderful. Everybody was so excited,” said Manuela Lotti, another South African guest.

She also sent her greetings to everybody: “I wish you all a wonderful year for the Year of the Monkey.”

The Spring Festival, highlighting family reunions and renewal of seasons, falls on Feb. 8 this year.

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