By CHRISTINE MWAABA –
IT was a fiesta of performances, music and dance when the Chinese kicked off a fortnight-long 2016 Chinese Spring Festival last Sunday.
Lusaka’s Levy Junction was decked with garland and Chinese traditional costumes to mark the important day in the Chinese tradition.
The Chinese cultural event, which was intensively organised, incorporated the Chinese folk arts such as the masterpiece of the dragon dance.
The festive flair was dazzled up in beautiful ethnic and traditional stylish Chinese bright-coloured outfits to reflect the joy and excitement of the Chinese Lunar Year.
The spectacular Chinese traditional Spring Festival played host to the First Lady Esther Lungu and the First Republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda.
And speaking during the Chinese New Year celebrations, Ms Lungu said commemorating festivals helps the nation to keep its identity, culture, and tradition intact.
Ms Lungu appealed to Zambians to continue celebrating cultural festivals which will in turn help keep Zambian tradition and identity.
“Festivals give us inspiration and help us remember important things in our lives like family when we meet to celebrate with them and it unites us,” she said.
Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming noted that the two nations had strong bilateral relations that would be enhanced even in the Year of the Monkey.
“2016 is the Year of the Monkey which symbolises prosperity, optimism and wealth. The bilateral relations that Zambia and China share have given us the impetus to hold our New Year celebrations,” he said.
The festival also attracted a good number of Zambians and Chinese nationals who wanted to catch a glimpse at the Chinese dance skills that were being showcased.
The climax of the Chinese Lunar New Year would be on February 18, 2016.
The Spring Festival is being celebrated under the theme: Year of the Monkey.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, it is the Year of the Monkey which ranks ninth in the Chinese calendar.
The Monkey is said to be cheerful and energetic by nature.
It represents flexibility.