Celebrating in Harmony and Joy: Chinese New Year Photo Exhibition
Chinese Cultural Center in Berlin introduces the Chinese New Year traditions to the localsFebruary 13th, 2020
Chinese Cultural Center in Berlin enters the Year of Rat with a new photo exhibition focused on Chinese New Year’s traditions.
Chinese New Year, in Chinese also known as the “Spring festival”, is a traditional holiday celebrated during the first month of the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. It is China’s most significant and the most important traditional holiday. Due to China’s natural and cultural diversity, the Chinese New Year’s traditions vary across regions which also makes the festival one of the grandest festivals in the country.
The celebrations usually start before the lunar’s New Year and last till the 15th day of the first lunar month, when the famous Lantern Festival starts.
The photo exhibition held in the Chinese Cultural Center in Berlin features several photos introducing the various traditions related to the celebration of the Chinese New Year. The exhibition is composed from several sections which are focused on topics such as nature, family and globalization.
In the first part of the exhibition, visitors have a great opportunity to familiarize themselves with the most spread traditions related to the Chinese New Year such as making paper cut decorations, enjoying lion dances, hanging lanterns and visiting temples. By keeping these traditions, Chinese people want to say goodbye to the “old” year and welcome the arrival of the New Year. Also, these practices express their wish for the upcoming year to be a lucky one and rich in harvest.
Second part of the exhibition focuses on the aspect of family reunion. As the Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China, people return home to the countryside to spend the holiday with their relatives, exchange hongbao (red envelopes with money) and watch the Spring Festival Gala evening together to enjoy the warmth of family affection.
In its last section, the exhibition aims to introduce the Chinese New Year traditions in the context of globalisation. In the recent years, there has been a significant number of foreigners joining the Chinese New Year festivities to enjoy the splendid Chinese culture. Furthermore, with a growing Chinese diaspora overseas, the number of celebrations held all over the world has been gradually increasing, making the Chinese New Year a joyous event shared both by Chinese and the locals.
This process is further supported by the Chinese government which is well aware of culture’s ability to influence a country’s international image. Hence, as the cultural diplomacy and soft power are becoming one of the most important tools countries use in their foreign policies, China has also become very active in the field. It uses cultural diplomacy to further promote itself as a civilized country with a long and rich history and beautiful environment.
The Chinese New Year is a great example of this practice. It passes on the tradition of harmony and moral principles in family and society and it also embodies the values of “happiness, dialogue and sharing” which are one of the key terms in China’s cultural diplomacy. In this sense, the festival aspires to become a bridge of friendship and understanding between Chinese people and the rest of the world.
The exhibition takes place in the Chinese Cultural Center located in Klingelhöferstraße 21, Berlin from 9th February till 4th March 2020 and is free of charge.