More than 2,000 events, concerts, parades in 6 continents to celebrate Chinese New Year

PHOTO: Reuters

More than 2,000 events, including concerts, film screenings, parades and exhibitions, are set to be held in more than 140 countries across the world to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, which falls on Feb 8.

The series of events, first introduced by the Ministry of Culture six years ago, is called Happy Spring Festival and is aimed at engaging international audiences in the festivities.

From late January to the end of February, international symphony orchestras - including world-renowned ensembles from Chicago and Melbourne - will perform both traditional and contemporary Chinese works, while classic acrobatic performances and contemporary song and dance shows will be put on by art troupes from around the country, including those from Hunan and Zhejiang provinces.

Traditional Chinese temple fairs and lantern festivals will also be held to showcase the country's intangible cultural heritage, food and folk art, the ministry announced earlier this month.

Ding Wei, vice-minister of culture, said that over the past six years Happy Spring Festival had actively promoted Chinese culture to audiences worldwide.

"The festival serves as a platform for international audiences to understand the traditional and contemporary culture in China," Ding said.

Nine performing arts troupes will also stage more than 50 performances during Spring Festival for overseas Chinese audiences, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council announced last week.

According to Tan Tianxing, the office's deputy director, the arts troupes will visit 42 cities in 22 countries across Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Asia and Australia to perform everything from martial arts to bianlian, or face changing, an ancient Chinese dramatic art form that is an important subgenre of Sichuan opera.

To attract younger overseas Chinese audiences, pop singers from reality television show The Voice of China, including Li Qi, the show's second season winner, will also join in the events abroad.

Tan added that since 2009, more than 4 million people had participated in overseas cultural events organised by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office.