Chinese New Year celebrations kick off in Pakistan

Chinese Cultural Centre in Pakistan begins Chinese New Year celebrations in Islamabad

An art exhibition and cultural performance in Islamabad on Thursday (Jan. 16) marked the beginning of the 2020 “Chinese New Year” events in Pakistan to share the joy with Chinese friends.

The events were held at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA).

The two major events include a Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage Exhibition and a Chinese New Year Gala performance. China Cultural Center in Pakistan has jointly organized the event with Overseas Chinese Association in Pakistan and the Department of Culture and Tourism of Hebei Province of China.

The exhibition of “Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage” at the National Art Gallery offered Pakistani people an insight into China’s rich and abundant art and Intangible culture. The exhibition showcases the latest development in the achievements of Chinese handicrafts, which is the most intuitive expression of vitality and charm of the traditional Chinese culture. 

The exhibition featured different sets of the latest creative works of Egg Carving, Dishili Kite, Yu County Paper Cutting, Wuqiang New Year Painting, Chinese Hengshui Inside-painting, Chinese Calligraphy and Chinese Tea Art which also represent the Chinese-style & folklore.

Besides the display of exhibition, renowned Chinese artists also gave a demonstration of their creation on the spot in the area of their art & craft to the visitors.

The major part of the celebration was the performance by a troupe of 35 Chinese musicians and dancers from Hebei province who presented folk dances, instrumentals, acrobatics and traditional Chinese songs at the PNCA theatre.

H.E Mr. Zhang Heqing, Cultural Counselor of Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Pakistan and Dr. Fridous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Information & Broadcasting were the chief guest at the event. Ms. Fouzia Saeed, Director General PNCA, Mr. Li Yanxuan, Deputy Director China Cultural Center in Pakistan and 500-plus diverse audience attended the gala.

Chinese Happy New Year or the Spring Festival is the grandest festival in China, with a 7-day long holiday. During this period, the iconic red lanterns, loud fireworks, massive banquets and parades, add color and exuberance to the celebrations.

Unlike the universal New Year observed on January 1st, Chinese New Year does not have a fixed date. In 2020 Chinese New Year festival falls on January 25. It is the Year of the Rat according to the Chinese zodiac, which features a 12-year cycle with each year represented by a specific animal. People born in the Years of the Rat including 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, and 2008 will experience their Zodiac Year of Birth (Ben Ming Nian). “Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life.”

On the occasion of Chinese New Year, every house is decorated with the most favored color, the bright Red – red lanterns, Chinese knots, Spring Festival couplets, ‘Fu’ character pictures, and red window paper-cuts.

All Chinese people visit their family home for a reunion dinner with the whole family. New clothes are also believed to bring good luck and start over fresh. People will add new red clothing to their Spring Festival wardrobe too.

The essential course on all Chinese menus for a reunion dinner will be steamed or braised whole fish, representing a surplus every year. Various kinds of meat, vegetable, and seafood are made into dishes with auspicious meanings. Dumplings are indispensable for northerners, while rice cakes for southerners. The night is spent enjoying this feast along with cheerful family talk and laughter.

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