Chinese New Year Celebrations - 新春快乐!

February 8, 2016

Last Saturday, Brussels welcomed the first edition of the Chinese New Year Celebrations! It took place in the city center between La Bourse and the Market Place (Grand Place) and gathered hundreds of performers and even more participants!!

 

This new event was organised by the Chinese Embassy in Belgium, the Chinese Mission to the EU and the Brussels Municipal Government, and of course the celebration was sponsored by Chinese enterprises and Chinese communities in Belgium. In short, the Chinese New Year involved quite a few important players from both China and Belgium and raised the interest of the Chinese Community.

 

Performance started around 2PM at the Market Place, there were so many people it was hard to walk around! However I still got to see several square formations including dragon & lion dances, wushu, Peking Opera, and more! Even Manneken Pis got dressed up in a Chinese outfit. After some of these activities, the parade went from the Marketplace to La Bourse and Boulevard Anspach. Many stores were decorated with lanterns and red colours it was so lovely...

 

I must say I am quite happy this event took place and was supported by the Belgian Government and the population in general. New Year is so important in the Chinese culture and Belgium does count about 40.000 chinese inhabitants so I think it was time for an official celebration…

 

The Chinese (and asian in general) population is super well integrated in Belgium and to be honest, you don’t see them that much (they are so well integrated you don’t notice them at all…) but they have such a rich past and culture to share that it is a shame not to show it once in awhile. The Chinese Ambassador did give a great speech in this way about integration, the great relationship between our two countries and sharing cultures…

 

I am also quite happy about this event because even though I haven’t traveled to China yet, I got to see a glimpse of what a real New Year celebration can be like. My in-laws are chinese so I’ve tasted the banquet style festivities, we do watch the TV programme celebrating New year but that’s about it…Besides the lantern also, we couldn’t do that much and even lighting the lanterns requires a permit… But this year Belgium gave my in-laws the chance to take an active part in the celebration, show a piece of their culture and properly celebrate…It was amazing!

 

So Happy New Year, may it be prosperous and Welcome to the Monkey of Fire! 新春快乐!

 

From what I heard this sign has an important place in the Chinese Culture…I’ll try to find out more. So far I know I’ve seen two movies about him and his 72 transformations…

 

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