UN, Chinese embassy in Kenya hold Spring Festival gala

(Xinhua) 09:54, February 01, 2024

NAIROBI, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations and the Chinese Embassy in Kenya hosted a prelude to the Chinese New Year gala in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, Wednesday, amid calls for strengthening cooperation to realize shared aspirations.

Co-hosted by the United Nations Office in Nairobi, the Chinese Embassy in Kenya and the China Media Group, the event was attended by senior UN officials, diplomats and scholars.

For the first time, the Chinese New Year will be recognized as part of the UN holiday calendar, said Zainab Hawa Bangura, director-general of the United Nations Office in Nairobi. She expressed her hope that the Chinese Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival, would bring peace, joy, good health and prosperity to humanity.

Zhou Pingjian, the Chinese ambassador to Kenya, said that the Chinese Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival that falls on Feb. 10 this year, is one of the oldest traditional festivals in Chinese culture.

"It has been celebrated for more than 4,000 years by the Chinese nation. With the Spring Festival approaching, people get busy preparing traditional food and decorations for the festival," Zhou said.

The Spring Festival symbolizes joy, unity and prosperity, besides embodying the core values of harmony, love and peace in Chinese culture, he said, noting that the festival presents an opportunity to understand China and its people, as well as the Asian nation's economic vibrancy.

He added that it is a public holiday in almost 20 countries, celebrated by about one-fifth of humanity.

Noting that traditional Lunar New Year activities are organized in nearly 200 countries and regions, Zhou said it has become a global cultural event.

In December 2023, the 78th session of the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution officially listing the Chinese New Year, as a UN holiday in its calendar of conferences and meetings, starting from 2024. Besides official speeches, the prelude to the Chinese Lunar New Year gala featured calligraphy and a lion dance by students from the Confucius Institute of the University of Nairobi.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


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