In celebration of the China-EU Tourism Year and the Chinese Lunar New Year, a series of cultural events were held in Brussels in February 2018.
Gala Show by Shenzhen Arts Troup
On 15 February, the Chinese New Year’s Eve, arts performances were staged at BOZAR, Center for Fine Arts in Brussels. Nearly 2,000 people attended the event, including Chinese Ambassador to the EU Mr. Zhang Ming, Chinese Ambassador to Belgium Mr. Qu Xing, Commissioner Tibor Navracsics for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport of the European Commission, guests from all walks of life at both EU and Belgian level. The show, featuring traditional Chinese folk music, dances, fascinating acrobatics and martial arts, brought out the beauty of traditional Chinese culture, the vigor of China and Chinese people, resonated strongly with the audience and left with them a deep impression.
Lantern Hanging at Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
On 16 February, Chinese New Year’s Day, a lantern-hanging ceremony was held at the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. With over 400 people participating, the event was held in a festive and joyous atmosphere. Nearly 200 red lanterns brought a new look to the gallery. Belgian and Chinese artists presented lion dances, Chinese folk music, Shaolin martial arts and fast-mask-changing performances, winning cheers and applauses from the audience.
Chinese Lantern Expo in Grand Place
From 22-28 February, a grand lantern show was held in the Grand Place of Brussels and its surrounding areas. Colorful lanterns of varied shapes featuring both distinctive Chinese and Belgian elements, were characterized by patterns such as images of Peking Opera figures, Giant Pandas, Beijing’s Temple of Heaven and the Atomium, a landmark building in Brussels. Thousands of locals and tourists swarmed to enjoy the bright lights in the city center. The interaction of Chinese and European Cultures was heartedly applauded. On 22 February, more than 300 guests attended the reception and inauguration ceremony to light up the lanterns, including Chinese Ambassador to the EU Mr. Zhang Ming, Chinese Ambassador to Belgium Mr. Qu Xing, Director-General Lowri Evans and Deputy Director-General Irmfried Schwimann of DG-Grow of the European Commission, Mayor Philippe Close and Alderwoman Karine Lalieux of the City of Brussels, and former Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.
Promotion Event for Sichuan Province
On 23 February, a promotion event under the theme of “Taste Sichuan, Experience China” was held in Tangla Hotel Brussels. Ambassador Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the EU welcomed the guests. Vice Governor Yang Xingping made a presentation on Sichuan. Live performances with distinct Sichuan features were staged. Intangible cultural heritage such as shadow puppetry, paper-cut and dough figurines were also displayed. The attendees also had an opportunity to taste Sichuan gourmet.
Sichuan province, located in South-west of China, has been known as the “land of abundance” since ancient times, with beautiful mountains and rivers. It has many things to be proud of — the UNESCO heritage sites Jiuzhaigou nature reserve and Huanglong scenic area, the cute giant pandas and the delicious Sichuan food. Sichuan and Europe also enjoy close connections and huge potential of cooperation.
The Brussels Times