Yesterday (Saturday 28th January), Brussels city centre dressed up with red lanterns and welcomed the 2017 Lunar New Year Parade: Lion Dances, demonstrations of Qigong, folk dance performance, marching band and many more activities took The City Hall and La Bourse over. The second edition of this event was sponsored by China Cultural Center in Brussels and Chinese enterprises such as ZTE, COSCO Shipping Lines, Anbang Group.
The parade is probably the only moment of the year when you actually see the Chinese Community all together parading the streets of Brussels. It's a great moment to discover a glimpse of their rich culture and history and to get together. As always, the mayor of Brussels and the Chinese Ambassador delivered a speech about unity and the meaning of this New Year: Rooster of Fire.
The Rooster symbolises Punctuality, Courage and Assiduity, qualities that the Chinese Ambassador in Brussels, Mr Qu Xing, emphasised in his speech to the crowd. Finally, he wished everyone a wonderful new year and that all would work hard to achieve self and family happiness.
Around 3 - 3:30PM, the procession left the Town Hall to walk the streets around La Bourse for the pleasure of the crowd. There were so many people watching even though the details about the event hadn't been widely communicated.
What I loved most was how the Parade showed the diversity in the Chinese Culture and how many Belgians embraced it...Be it because of their spouse being Chinese or just for the love of this foreign country. This year, a Sax Band from Dinant even joined, playing several Chinese songs...And the Shanghai Kongjiang Senior High School Marching Band came all the way to Brussels for the occasion!
I couldn't stay for the final show at La Bourse but I am quite certain it was fantastic! If you missed this year's edition, make sure to block your calendar for 2018!