Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations

THE Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Islamabad kicked off the Chinese Lunar New Year with celebrations in the capital. A function was jointly organized by Chinese Embassy and Foreign Office of Pakistan to mark the start of Chinese Lunar Year and it was attended by the staff of Foreign Office and Chinese embassy with their family members. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, speaking on the occasion said that China is true friend of Pakistan and it has been proved in all the fields during 60 years of strong diplomatic ties between the two countries. Shah Mahmood Qureshi also said there is a need to look towards neighbour like China that has been considered as a stabilizing force in the world.

The Minister said a lot more can be done in future to promote the Pak-China relations although both the countries had enjoyed very good ties in the past. He said there is a need to build solid economic relationship between the two countries and enhance bilateral trade as Pakistan today needed to improve its economic conditions. Qureshi said Chinese support is always without conditions while the financial assistance from the West always had conditionalities. He said both the countries are celebrating 2011 as year of friendship as it has completed 60 years of friendship. He said, “The solid relationship built by our elders need to be nurtured further.” Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Liu Jian welcoming the guests said both the countries had very strong relations and these ties would be further strengthened in the new Chinese lunar year. On Saturday, the Chinese Ambassador hosted a get together for the media in Islamabad.

The event was very well attended and the Ambassador was sanguine that the New Year, the year of the Rabbit will be better than the previous year, the year of the Tiger. A number of Chinese artistes sang Urdu and Chinese songs and performed traditional dances from the Chinese city of Kashgar on this occasion to mark strong friendship between the two countries. The Chinese Embassy also gave away New Year gifts to the guests. Chinese Lunar New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. Despite its winter occurrence, in China it is known as “Spring Festival,” the literal translation of the Chinese name Pinyin: Chun Jié), owing to the difference between Western and traditional Chinese methods for computing the seasons. The festival begins on the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day.

Chinese New Year’s Eve, a day where Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner, is known as Chú Xi or “Eve of the Passing Year.” Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Ancient Chinese New Year is a reflection on how the people behaved and what they believed in the most. In the Gregorian calendar, Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year, a date between January 21 and February 20. In the Chinese calendar, winter solstice must occur in the 11th month, which means that Chinese New Year usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Festivities like the celebration of the Chinese Lunar Year are important because they help to bring the cultures of China and Pakistan closer. The Chinese Embassy must be commended for its effort to enhance the deep relations even closer and giving the people of Pakistan a glimpse of its ancient and rich culture – Dailymailnews