The launch ceremony is held Jan 16 in Beijing for the cultural program Happy Chinese New Year. (Photo by Zhang Xingjian/Chinaculture.org)
More than 1,500 cultural programs will take place in 396 cities in 133 countries and regions during the upcoming Spring Festival, said Luo Shugang, minister of culture and tourism, during the launch ceremony held Jan 16 in Beijing for the cultural program Happy Chinese New Year.
"Spring Festival is the most significant festival for Chinese people, and the best reflection of Chinese values and aesthetics," said Luo. Since the beginning of the 21st century, he added, the ministry has introduced fine Chinese culture to overseas friends during the Spring Festival season, and these various cultural programs are well-received among foreigners.
According to Luo, Happy Chinese New Year has become the leading program with the widest coverage, the largest number of participants, and the most extensive influence in the field of foreign cultural exchanges.
In 2019, more than 30 types of cultural events -- including exhibitions, art performances, parades, New Year's fairs, forums and folk art classes – will be unveiled to the general public from late January to the end of February.
This year features a brand-new stage for Happy Chinese New Year, after China established the Ministry of Culture and Tourism through a merger of the previous ministry of culture and national tourism administration.
One of the highlights during this year's program will be an excellent combination of Chinese cultural and tourism resources.
"Appealing cultural programs will boost tourism, while tourism growth is the best way to spotlight traditional and fine Chinese culture," said Luo. "More channels and resources, and broader stages will be offered to ensure Happy Chinese New Year will go farther and further."
For instance, Happy Chinese New Year will be included as a key program during the upcoming China-Laos Tourism Year, China-New Zealand Tourism Year, and China-Pacific Island Countries Tourism Year.
Chinese folk performances and China’s cultural heritage shows will also get highlighted at more than 20 international tourism forums held during the holiday. These include the Mediterranean Tourism Forum, Thailand International Tourism Exhibition, Madrid Tourism Exhibition and New York Times Tourism Exhibition.
Big parades celebrating Chinese New Year will occur in London, Lisbon, Madrid, Buenos Aires and other cities, along with promotional events happening at the same time in those cities.
The Happy Chinese New Year lantern show will grace 10 cities including Madrid, Tokyo and Tirana, while the festival-themed window shows will enchant visitors in iconic world locations, such as the Empire State Building in New York and Galeries Lafayette in Paris.
Also, more foreign art lovers will be introduced to stage masterpieces during the holiday season, such as Raising the Red Lantern, performed by The National Ballet of China, and the National Peking Opera Company's The Female Generals of the Yang Family.
2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the Happy Chinese New Year program. The ministry has organized art troupes to celebrate Spring Festival overseas since 2001. In 2009, it launched a more comprehensive Happy Chinese New Year program to bring more diversity to the celebrations.