Cairo (People's Daily) - More than 100 visitors flocked to the Chinese Culture Center in Cairo on Wednesday to celebrate the Chinese Lantern Festival and close Cairo's Year of the Dog festivities.
With scores of lanterns glowing in the dark, international students outshone each other solving riddles, drawing lanterns, and sampling tasty food.
Ruan Yaohua, a Chinese staff member at the Center, said that the lanterns on display had been transported all the way from China. The Yuanxiao, medley of dumplings, and the fried spring rolls were not but the icing on the cake.
“A good beginning needs a happy ending,” said Shi Yuewen, director of the Center. Shi emphasized that, traditionally, the Lantern Festival marks the climax of the two-week-long celebration. The Spring carnival wrapped up this year’s festival in Cairo, coinciding with the lighting of the Cairo Tower and Cairo’s architectural landmarks.
“I attended a couple of Chinese lantern parades, but this is the first spring I get to see the festival,” said Mohammed, an Egyptian student with the Center’s Chinese language program. He was quick to add the festival is a distilled expression, of sorts, of China’s rich culture, incorporating dragon boat games, lantern displays, and assorted folk art.
This age-old festival is celebrated in China on January 15 of the lunar calendar, at the heels of the Spring Festival. During the festival, time is spent with family, and lanterns are lit and made pretty with a patchwork of exquisite designs.
Photos: Qu Xiangyu and Huang Peizhao