Chinese Spring Festival kicks off at PNCA

Exhibition on traditional Chinese arts and crafts held

Zulfiqar Baig January 17, 2020
The Chinese art troupe performs a variety of antics at the PNCA on Friday. PHOTOS: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: With the Year of the Rat set to commence later this month, the Chinese Cultural Centre in Pakistan has partnered with the Pakistan National Council of the Arts to organise a Chinese spring Festival.

Officials at the council said that the two major events will form the lynchpin of the celebrations including a Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage Exhibition and a Chinese New Year Gala. For this purpose, the co-organisers of the event including the by Overseas Chinese Association in Pakistan and the Department of Culture and Tourism of Hebei Province of China will be sending a 35 member group of artists as well as various cultural artefacts.

The exhibition of "Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage" will be displayed in the main lobby of the National Art Gallery.

Pak-China friendship opens doors for local artists

Opening on Thursday, the exhibition offers an insight into China's rich and abundant art and Intangible culture by showcasing the latest development in Chinese handicrafts apart from different sets of the latest creative works of Egg Carving, Dishili Kites, Yu County Paper Cutting, Wuqiang New Year Paintings, Chinese Hengshui Inside-painting, Chinese calligraphy and Chinese Tea Art — which also represents the Chinese-style and folklore.

The exhibition will open for the general public at 2:30 pm to 8pm every day and will include live demonstrations from renowned Chinese artists about their creations. Other artists part of the group includes a troupe of Chinese musicians and dancers from Hebei who performed folk dances, instrumentals, acrobatics and traditional Chinese songs at the PNCA theatre.

Chinese Happy New Year - Spring Festival is the grandest festival in China, with a seven-day-long holiday. As the most colourful annual event, the traditional celebration can last up to two weeks.

China during this period is dominated by iconic red lanterns, loud fireworks, massive banquets and parades, and the festival even triggers exuberant celebrations across the globe.

Unlike the universal New Year observed on January 1st, Chinese New Year is never on a fixed date. For 2020, the Chinese New Year festival falls on January 25 and will celebrate the Year of the Rat — according to the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese zodiac features a 12-year cycle with each year represented by a specific animal. People born in the Years of the Rat including 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, and 2008 will experience their Zodiac Year of Birth (Ben Ming Nian).

Chinese troupe brings ancient art to life

On the occasion of Chinese New Year, every house is decorated with the most favoured colour, the bright Red – red lanterns, Chinese knots, Spring Festival couplets, 'Fu' character pictures, and red window paper-cuts.

Chinese people manage to make their way home at the latest by New Year's Evening, for a reunion dinner with their entire family. New clothes are also believed to bring good luck and start over fresh. People will add new red clothing to their Spring Festival wardrobe too.

The essential course on all Chinese menus for a reunion dinner will be a steamed or braised whole fish, representing a surplus every year. Various kinds of meat, vegetable, and seafood are made into dishes with auspicious meanings.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2020.


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