With red lanterns raised, Chinese couplets written, and lion dances performed, Chinese New Year was celebrated all across the European continent as well.
"Many celebrations of Chinese New Year in our French regions illustrate the extent and popularity of Chinese culture in our country," said Valerie Pecresse, president of the Ile-de-France region. In a greeting letter of hers, Pecresse said, "... to the Chinese people, overseas Chinese and in particular to the Chinese community in France (her) best wishes for happiness, health and prosperity." Ile-de-France "is proud to welcome the largest Chinese community in Europe, a hard-working and creative one," she noted.
French President Emmanuel Macron extended his best wishes "to all those who celebrate the Lunar New Year in our country and in the world." "Best wishes for this year under the sign of the Pig," Macron wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
A Chinese New Year concert organized by the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and Beijing Performance & Arts Group in Dublin's National Concert Hall Tuesday feasted the ears of local audiences with a number of masterpieces, the majority of which from a well-known Chinese composer, Ye Xiaogang.
There were at least 800 in the audience including Irish President Michael D. Higgins. Tracks the bands put on include Ye's “Sichuan Image”, a symphony consisting 30 short music clips that portray the beautiful scenery of southwest China's Sichuan Province, and “Starry Sky”, Ye's piano concerto for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
"The New Year is important for stores all over Europe, not just in Spain, because Chinese tourists have become excellent clients and it is an honor to celebrate the New Year with our visitors," said Javier Fernandez Andrino, director of international marketing at Corte Ingles. "The more attention we can give, the more comfortable they feel. It helps them feel welcome and that means they spend more time with us. That benefits us all."
Corte Ingles signed an agreement with Chinese company Alibaba to develop close collaboration in areas including retail and distribution, cloud computing services and digital payment systems.
(Cover: People taking part in Chinese New Year Celebration. /VCG Photo)