Chinese Community in S. Africa celebrates Lunar New Year
Johannesburg - XINHUA
The Chinese Community in Johannesburg held street celebrations on Saturday to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year.
The celebrations attracted crowds of local people who were treated to Lion and Dragon Dance, Kungfu, Tai Chi and other performances.
Vice chairperson of the Chinese Association, Maureen Lok Fat said they decided to hold celebrations on Saturday days ahead of the Lunar New Year to allow as many people as possible to attend.
The 2016 Chinese Lunar New Year falls on February 8.
"We are happy to be celebrating the Chinese New Year, the year of the monkey. We wish everybody a new year full of happiness and good health. We expect business to be better this year and the economy to improve,"Fat said.
Over 6,000 people attended the event, with several roads being closed to allow smooth celebrations.
Fat said the celebrations were like a family event, allowing people to meet each other and relax.
Most vendors had decorated their stalls in red, and many others were dressed in red.
Jackson Leong, a middle aged businessman, said red stands for happiness and good luck.
The New Year celebrations are important for cultural revival especially among the youths, Leong said.
"This is an important occasion for us. We use this day to educate the youth about our culture and tradition. The dances like the Lion and Dragon Dance shows happiness and is done on many occasions. The dance and Kung Fu is also part of our culture. This day is also good for bringing us together and makes us unite,"he said.
Leong said they always liaise with the Chinese Embassy in South Africa to promote culture and have exchange programmes with people from China.
It's generally agreed that such events unite the Chinese community and help promote understanding among different people with different cultures.
Leong said the celebrations were open to all nationalities with different cultures.
Bhekani Ntini from One Love Skate Expo brought 30 youths to do skating at the event.
Ntini said, "I enjoyed the Lion and Dragon Dance and fireworks display. I love associating with the Chinese because they are peaceful and good people. I am looking forward to being invited again to perform at the New Year celebrations next year."
Some people attending the event told Xinhua that they enjoyed the New Year celebrations because they learned a lot about the Chinese culture.