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Madrid celebrates Chinese New Year in style

(Xinhua)    11:32, February 19, 2015

MADRID, Feb. 18 -- The massive El Corte Ingles Department store in the center of Madrid sums up perfectly how times have changed in Spain as the country made a bold statement in support of Chinese New Year and the commercial opportunities it offers.

The biggest store in the Spanish capital has its entire facade covered by an advertisement featuring a giant photo of Spanish actress Penelope Cruz in a striking red dress with a message nobody can fail to understand: "Happy Chinese New Year."

While that is perhaps the most visible sign of the start of the Year of the Sheep, there are plenty more events taking place to usher in the celebrated Chinese Spring Festival.

This coming weekend sees a traditional Chinese New Year fair taking place in the central Plaza de Espana, which bears mentioning that the plaza stands in the shadow of the emblematic Edificio Espana building which was recently purchased by Chinese real estate tycoon, Wang Jianlin.

The fair lasts for two days and aims to show the cultural aspects of the holiday, while helping cultural integration.

The Chinese culture center in Madrid also played a major role in this with a series of events organized throughout the week including book presentations, concerts, and an exhibition of traditional Chinese lanterns.

However, the most important event is the gala concert which is held in Spain's national auditorium. The fourth annual Chinese New Year concert will be led by the Chinese women's orchestra Beauty and Melody, which will play a selection of traditional and modern Chinese music, and end with a section of works by Spanish composers.

With many of the events partly sponsored by Spanish companies, it shows just how important the Chinese New Year is becoming in Spain, not just to the ever-expanding Chinese community, but also to Spaniards.

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

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