Chinese, Ukrainians welcome Lunar New Year with colourful feast

Updated 2017-01-25 09:58:40 Xinhua

"I started to celebrate the Lunar New Year when I studied in Shanghai two years ago. Now, it is a very special holiday for me and I celebrate it every year," Daria Larionova, a 21-year-old Ukrainian student, told Xinhua.

Larionova is a co-host of the feast entitled "The fate gathered us in Ukraine," which was recently held at the Boryspil International Airport in Kiev to greet the Spring Festival, which falls on Jan. 28 this year.

Dressed in Qipao, a body-hugging traditional Chinese dress, Larionova naturally complements the New Year atmosphere in the airport, which is garnished with colorful decorations -- red lanterns, Zodiac-themed paper-cutting art pieces and works of Chinese calligraphy.

Larionova said she adores the atmosphere of the Lunar New Year, its joyful spirit, and traditions, which have been formed throughout centuries.

"In my opinion, the most entertaining Lunar New Year custom is joint cooking and eating of dumplings. It creates very friendly atmosphere! It is really great," Larionova said.

To give Ukrainians a vivid glimpse of Spring Festival traditions, a series of entertaining events was held at the Boryspil airport during the feast. They included dragon dancing, tea ceremony, singing New Year songs and workshops on making traditional decorations.

However, Ukrainians are well aware that the Lunar New Year is not only about entertainment. First of all, the Spring Festival is a family holiday, a precious time for the people to reunite with their loved ones.

"My favourite tradition in the Lunar New Year celebrations is that people, wherever they are and whatever they do, are trying to return their homes. The holiday is celebrated around the family table, bringing all the relatives together. This, of course, is a very good tradition," Karina, a guest of the feast, told Xinhua.

Yet, not all of the Chinese people have an opportunity to celebrate the Spring Festival with family.

Zhi Yuxin, a student from China, who studies instrumental music in Kiev, said her homesickness is getting stronger when the New Year is around the corner.

However, festivities organized by the Chinese community in Ukraine help the young lady to feel the New Year spirit when she is almost 10,000 kilometers away from her hometown.

"It seems to me that the atmosphere in Kiev is very warm. We usually are gathering together with other Chinese living here to eat dumplings," Zhi told Xinhua during the celebrations.

The feast at the Boryspil airport, which gathered hundreds of guests, is one of a series of events organized in Kiev by the Diaspora of Chinese in Ukraine, the Kiev Confucius Institute and a string of Chinese and Ukrainian companies on the eve of the Lunar New Year.

The festivities are aimed at uniting the Chinese people living in Ukraine and showing Ukrainians the rich Chinese traditions of celebrating the Spring Festival.

"It is not just a presentation of the Chinese culture -- it is an exchange between our cultures, which is vividly illustrated by the fact that not only Chinese, but also Ukrainian artists took part in the feast," Demian Dyao, the deputy director of Fly China company, one of the organizers of the celebrations, told Xinhua.

He said that the festivity events are also dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Ukraine, which was marked on Jan. 4.

"The ties between our countries are strengthening with each coming year. It relates not only to cultural ties, but also to the relations in many other areas," Dyao said.

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