Mumbai's Chinese Consulate Celebrates Lantern Festival With Indian Guests

Mumbai's Chinese Consulate Celebrates Lantern Festival With Indian Guests

The festivity, which falls on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar, was celebrated on Feb 24, 2024, with vibrant lanterns, riddle games, and heartfelt expressions of wishes and aspirations for the future.

Simple VishwakarmaUpdated: Monday, February 26, 2024, 12:38 PM IST
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Mumbai's Chinese Consulate Celebrates Lantern Festival With Indian Guests | Special A

The Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Mumbai illuminated the spirit of the traditional Lantern Festival, marking this year as the Dragon New Year. The festivity, which falls on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar, was celebrated on Feb 24, 2024, with vibrant lanterns, riddle games, and heartfelt expressions of wishes and aspirations for the future.

More than 20 guests, including members from the Chinese training institute, Mumbai University HSK students, and the consular volunteer group, gathered to partake in the celebration. Consul General Kong Xianhua emphasised the significance of the Lantern Festival, describing it as the culmination of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

"Lantern Festival is a traditional Chinese festival, marking the conclusion of the Chinese New Year celebration," remarked Kong adding, "Coincidentally, the tradition of making and lighting lanterns is very similar to the Indian tradition of lanterns during Diwali. It symbolises the same aspiration to brightness in both Chinese and Indian people's hearts."

Celebrations provide insight into traditional cultures

Highlighting the cultural exchange opportunity, Consul General Kong expressed his desire for Indian friends to deepen their understanding of traditional Chinese culture through such celebrations. He underscored the importance of fostering sincere friendships among the youth, laying the groundwork for mutual understanding and cooperation between the two nations.

Tang Hanming—aka Nishith Shah—the principal and founder of the India-China Academy, a Chinese language learning and testing centre, said, “Yesterday's Lantern Festival gathering provided new Chinese language learners with a deeper understanding of the language and the common traditions shared by India and China. As the head of a Chinese language and culture institute, I aim for my students to gain experiential learning opportunities.”

“Every festival is about joy, family, love, delicious food and happiness. As an Indian, I resonate with the Chinese culture as we share common traditions and value systems,” Tang Suhong, a businesswoman and a student at India-China Academy, said. Tang thanked the Chinese Consul General for the celebration and equated it with “a family gathering full of warmth and a community of learners coming and celebrating together”.

Indian student Vrushti Balad, who completed her master’s in Management of International Affairs and Global Governance from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, said, “I was so happy to experience the Lantern Festival as I am just back from China, I was happy to be part of the celebration by the Consulate General.”

The festivity also served as a platform for culinary and cultural exchange, with guests enthusiastically participating in the preparation of dumplings and tang yuan desserts.

Additionally, Vice-Consul Xiong Fangxing engaged Indian students and children in riddle games, shedding light on the history and significance of the Dragon Year.

Notably, the Chinese New Year 2024 ushered in the Year of the Wood Dragon, commencing on Saturday, Feb 10, 2024. As a public holiday, Chinese citizens enjoyed an eight-day respite from work, from Feb 10 to 17.

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