Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui at the Chinese New Year Cultural Show
2018/02/10

Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui at the Chinese New Year Cultural Show

(9th February, 2018,NCUI Auditorium and Convention Center)

H.E.Ambassador Khatua,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Namaste and good evening!

It is my great pleasure to join you tonight for celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Dog.

According to the Chinese lunar calender, we are going to embrace the Year of the Earth Dog in 6 days. In the Chinese culture, the dog is regarded as a symbol of loyalty, bravery and good luck. Bearing that in mind, I wish everyone here tonight a happy and prosperous Year of the Dog.

The Spring Festival is the most important festival in China. It's all about the family reunion. The practice we have is similar to that of Diwali in India.

Before the Spring Festival, every family will have a house clean-up and decoration. At the Eve of the Spring Festival, the whole family will have a reunion dinner together, set off firecrackers and wait for the arrival of the New Year.

During the Spring Festival, relatives and friends will gather together to exchange gifts and red envelopes of money given by the elders.

Now there are three changes in the celebrations of the Chinese New Year compared with the past. First, more Chinese people celebrate the Spring Festival by way of travelling. With China's economy improving, our people growing richer and the traffic becoming more convenient due to modern technology such as high-speed railway, celebrating the Spring Festival by travelling has become a fashion. I even came across some Chinese people driving to the Arctic Circle to celebrate the Chinese New Year when I was the Chinese Ambassador to Canada.

Second, Mobile payment has gradually made China a cashless society. Sending digital red envelopes via mobile phones has become more popular in China.

Third, people set off less fireworks. Now people are advocating green lifestyle. More and more Chinese cities have banned fireworks during the Spring Festival.

The changing customs of the Chinese New Year have reflected the transformation and upgrade of China's economy. China's economic performance in 2017 is dazzling. The growth rate is as high as 6.9% and the total GDP reached 13 trillion US dollars with per capita GDP reaching nearly 9000.

Friends,

New Year comes with new hope. We have already started writing a new chapter of China-India relations. Recently State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited India successfully. The Pilgrimage arrangements have been made now. Bilateral trade last year reached 88 billion US Dollars, increasing 20% compared with the year before. I am sure that more positive energy will be put into our relations. We are ready to bring it to a new height.

Friends,

Tonight I am happy to introduce the artists from Guangxi, a marvelous place in south part of China. They are going to present lovely songs, dances, magics and acrobatics. Let's enjoy it!

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