Chinese dancers perform during an event celebrating the Spring Festival to welcome the Lunar New Year of the Dog in Kolkata, India, Feb 12, 2018. (DIBYANGSHU SARKAR / AFP)
BEIJING – As the Chinese New Year is getting closer, the world is getting into the mood of the Spring Festival celebration.
Cultural events like music and dance performances, photo exhibitions, art shows are being organized across the globe, with many countries about to embrace a huge crowd of Chinese tourists during the week-long holiday.
Through the Spring Festival, the world can get to know China about its diversified cultures and understand a more realistic China.
Guan Zhaoyu, Associate research fellow, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China
Analysts said the Spring Festival is becoming a "world gala" with more and more people getting to know China better through this timeless tradition while financially benefitting from the festival economy.
The Spring Festival, or the Lunar New Year, is regarded as the most important traditional festival for anyone of Chinese origin, with "key signature events" such as family reunions, feasts and performances.
The year 2018 will be the Year of Dog, which will officially begin on Feb 16, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
The Spring Festival is chockfull with Chinese wisdom, said Guan Zhaoyu, associate research fellow with Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.
As it gains a rising global influence, the Spring Festival provides everyone with a good opportunity to understand true Chinese culture, Guan told Xinhua.
According to the latest release of China's State Council Information Office, the Chinese New Year will be celebrated in more than 400 cities across more than 130 countries and regions this year.
Myanmar's Yangon organized a Chinese gourmet festival to introduce traditional Chinese cuisine to the people of Myanmar.
The gourmet festival aims not only to exchange food-cultures between the two countries, but also to promote ASEAN-China relations, said Sun Jianhua, deputy director of Education, Culture and Tourism division of ASEAN-China Center.
While on the European continent, a gala showcasing singing and dancing was held in the western German town of Hanau. The performances also featured the traditional Chinese opera, Chinese Kung Fu and a cheongsam fashion show, the traditional one-piece Chinese dress for ladies.
Consumers select New Year decorations ahead of the Spring Festival at a market in Dongyang City, east China's Zhejiang province, Feb 12, 2018. The Spring Festival falls on Feb 16 this year. (BAO KANGXUAN / XINHUA)
Moreover, the various customs of the Spring Festival is a collective demonstration of the Chinese spirit of inner peace, unity, and respect for traditions and ancestors, according to Guan.
"Through the Spring Festival, the world can get to know China about its diversified cultures and understand a more realistic China," said Guan.
"I hope that the Spring Festival can become a shared topic of China and the world to communicate with each other," he added.
RED ENVELOPE FROM CHINA
In tandem with the festivities, traveling abroad has now become a new trend for the Chinese who wish to spend their extended Spring Festival holiday.
A total of 6.5 million Chinese will travel abroad during the upcoming week-long holiday, said a report released by China Tourism Academy and Ctrip.
People from more than 200 Chinese cities have reserved outbound tours to over 700 cities in 68 countries and regions on Ctrip, a popular online travel agency based in Shanghai.
The most popular destinations are Thailand, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam. The Nordic countries and the United Arab Emirates are also among the favorites. Some of the travelers will be going as far as the Antarctica.
Tourists are expected to spend 9,500 yuan (US$1,510) each on their trips. Thanks to the mobile payment services provided by Chinese APP of Wechat and Alipay, Chinese travelers don't need to exchange foreign currency, which will largely facilitate the consumers' shopping experience.
To accommodate the Chinese tourists, world-renowned landmarks will be lighted up to earmark the Spring Festival.
The top of the Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan, New York, will be emblazoned in red and gold at dusk on Tuesday and Thursday. While the Eiffel Tower in Paris will feature a joint light-show between the Chinese and French cities on the eve of the Lunar New Year.
During the Spring Festival, the large-scale flow of people, cash and information have created the unique "Spring Festival economy," according to Guan.
He said in recent years, that the top tourist destinations for Chinese people have inadvertently become beneficiaries of the Spring Festival "red envelope," referring to the "financial benefits" from this consumption trend.' "As the Lunar New Year is becoming a global festival, I believe the concept will bring more and more economic and trade benefits to the whole world," he added.