Amid joyful atmosphere of a moonlit breezy night, hundreds of Egyptians and Chinese celebrated the Chinese Spring Festival in the Egyptian tourist city of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The Hollywood fun park in the Red Sea resort city embraced a three-day activity organized by the Chinese embassy in Egypt to celebrate China’s upcoming spring festival, which marks the first day of the New Year in the Chinese calendar.
The park walls and trees were garnished with red Chinese lanterns and colorful Chinese paintings welcoming the visitors, with people watching traditional lion dance performances in the alleyways of the tourist site.
The audience eagerly stood to watch Chinese artists performing numerous shows such as Kung Fu, dragon shows, acrobats and face-changing shows.
“It is a good chance for me to get some knowledge about the Chinese culture,” Ahmed Zulfikar, an Egyptian worker from Sharm el-Sheikh told Xinhua as he watched happily the performances.
The man said he was keen to bring his wife and two kids to the festival because they were so eager to watch Chinese artistic and cultural shows.
“We also wanted to say happy New Year to the friendly Chinese people,” he said as he flashed a big smile.
During the performance, Chinese hosts served their guests a variety of Chinese food to give them a taste of China in and Egyptian city.
On the passageway leading to the celebration, crowds stood in front of several stands that showed Chinese homemade artifacts, with a number of artists painting traditional masks on children’s faces.
As artists performed on stage, Chinese organizers visited every table to distribute gifts to the guests who came from different countries, not only Egypt.
“The Arab peoples are keen to learn about Chinese culture, especially because there is cultural similarity between the Arabs and the Chinese peoples,” Tareq Hussein, an Iraqi tourist said.
“I also loved the Chinese noodles…it is the first time for me to try Chinese food,” Hussein said as he sipped from a hot cup of Chinese tea.
Reacting to the Chinese music, Hussein said he hopes that such Chinese celebrations would be held in his country, Iraq.
Sitting on a nearby table, Ahmed Magdi, vice president of the Friends of Tourism Association in Sharm el-Sheikh, said that the Chinese Spring Festival was very successful and promoted for tourism in the city, wishing that festival will be celebrated annually in resort city.
“The celebration is well attended by Egyptians and non-Egyptians because they have the desire to learn more about Chinese culture,” he said adding Chinese people are well admired by Egyptians for their culture and civilization as well as their good hearts.
After upgrading the relations between the two countries to a “comprehensive strategic partnership,” cultural exchange has been at its peak as artists, cultural and musical delegations have changed visits.
Through such activities, Egypt and China want to boost friendly ties and enhance mutual understanding and future development between the peoples of the two nations, whose relations have deep roots back in history.
Chinese Ambassador to Cairo Song Aiguo said in his speech during the ceremony that he was very happy to participate in this celebration, which is attended by many Egyptians and other people from different nationalities.
He said this is the first time that the Spring Festival is celebrated in Sharm el-Sheikh after it was celebrated in a number of Egyptian cities during the past years, especially in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan.
The ambassador stressed that such celebrations and mutual exchanges would further enhance the friendship between the Egyptian and Chinese people, adding that this has been reflected positively on relations and cooperations in various fields.
For his part, Governor of South Sinai, Khaled Fouda, greeted the Chinese people over the Chinese Spring Festival, highlighting the strength of the relations between the Egyptian and Chinese people.
He called on the Chinese people to visit the city, which is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world, stressing that South Sinai in general and Sharm el-Sheikh in particular are looking to increase the number of Chinese tourists.
Meanwhile, Qiu Guoliang, the head of Zhejiang provincial cultural center, told Xinhua this is the first time that the celebrations was held in Sharm el-Sheikh, adding that the festival would be more and more localized in the future.
“In order to introduce the Chinese Spring Festival to the world, we felt we should know our own culture better in the first place and try our best to enrich it, make it more merged and innovative,” he said.