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Lion dance performed in Cambodia to celebrate Chinese New Year

(Xinhua)    14:50, February 18, 2015

PHNOM PENH, Feb. 18 -- Lion and dragon dance have begun to perform in Cambodia on Wednesday to greet Chinese Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, which falls on Thursday.

Four groups of the lion and dragon dance firstly started their performances at the Royal Palace in capital Phnom Penh, then at the Chinese Embassy to Cambodia before going to elsewhere across the country.

At the Royal Palace, the groups were greeted by Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Royal Palace Minister Kong Sam Ol, while at the Embassy, they were welcomed by Ambassador Bu Jianguo.

Luo Si Xing, vice-president of the Chinese Association in Cambodia, said the performances were to bless both Chinese and Cambodians with happiness and prosperity in the New Year.

"The performances are also to preserve and promote Chinese culture and traditions in Cambodia," he said.

Spring Festival was the most important festival in China, which marked the end of the winter and the start of the spring, Ambassador Bu said.

"May the Year of the Sheep bring luck, fortune and prosperity to Chinese people, Chinese blood Cambodians and all Cambodian people," she said.

Lion dance is invited by traditional Chinese families to perform as a symbolic ritual to usher in the Spring Festival and to ward off bad luck and evil spirits.

Cambodian Culture Secretary of State Chuch Phoeun has said that Chinese New Year is one of the largest festivals in Cambodia.

"It is broadly celebrated in Cambodia, even my family has also had Chinese blood," he told Xinhua. "It is the second largest New Year celebrations in Cambodia after Khmer New Year."

The festival is not a public holiday in this Southeast Asian nation, but some schools, private companies and state institutions voluntarily have days off on the occasion.

According to the figures of the Chinese Association in Cambodia, over 700,000 Chinese descendants are living in Cambodia.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Du Mingming,Bianji)

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