Celebrations held Barcelona to welcome Chinese new year, boost cultural exchange

(Xinhua) 13:36, February 06, 2024

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Barcelona, a city in northeast Spain, was engulfed in festive ambiance last Saturday as thousands of people thronged to enjoy various celebrations held to welcome the Chinese Lunar New Year.

A procession featuring both Chinese and Spanish traditional dancing, displays of fireworks and people wearing traditional costumes, food stalls teemed the streets of the city to celebrate the coming Year of the Dragon.

Sergi Cantos, of the Bestialots Espurnats local dance troupe, told Xinhua "We can always learn from each other, and so we're always looking for links that allow them to partake in our festivals and for us to partake in theirs, and that help make culture bigger and more universal."

This year's festivities involved over 30 cultural groups in Barcelona. The Bestialots took part in the procession alongside Chinese performers, including dragon dancers.

"As we're in Barcelona, we want to celebrate the festival in our way to make us feel like we are in China," said Yiao Miaoyang, who, along with his group, showcased a traditionally decorated yellow dragon dance in the parade.

Jiahui Zheng, the vice president of the Hanfu Feiyu Association that crafts intricate traditional Chinese attire, said the procession provided a platform for them to show off their craftsmanship.

Wang Jiang treated locals to Chinese food from a food stall. "We want to show our integration into Spanish society. I have lived here for 20 years and I want to bring Chinese culture to Spain through the authentic food of China," Wang said.

Jordi Valls, the Fourth Deputy Mayor of Barcelona City Council, spoke highly of the Chinese community's contribution to the city, saying "I think it's positive for them to express their culture, but it's also positive for the city to see there are other cultures with another world view."

Hu Aimin, China's acting Consul General in Barcelona, told Xinhua that he was very happy to see "the Chinese culture interacting with the Spanish culture."

"Starting from a few years ago, they have made this festival a part of the local celebrations, so this is a vivid example to show that the Chinese community is integrating into the local society," the consul added.

The Chinese New Year has been celebrated for 10 years in Barcelona. This year's celebrations will span 15 days, featuring an array of activities such as free Chinese language classes, tea ceremony demonstrations, calligraphy workshops and Chinese storytelling sessions.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


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