Iranian, Chinese new years celebrated in Tehran

March 5, 2016

TEHRAN – Tehran’s Niavaran Cultural and Historical Complex hosted an event on Thursday to celebrate the Chinese and the Iranian new years, which fall on February 8 and March 21, respectively.

Chinese Ambassador to Tehran Pang Sen, Iran-China Friendship Association Director Ahad Mohammadi, and several other officials attended the event.

In his speech, Pang Sen called 2016 an important year in developing relations between Iran and China.

“Spring New Year celebration and Iranian Nowruz are two important festivals in both countries and today artists from two nations give performances to celebrate this event together,” he said.

Ahad Mohammadi, for his part, made a short speech, congratulating the new years to Iranian and Chinese people.

“Iranians do not forget the supports of China during sanctions and wish for extending relations in the post-sanction time,” he said.

Then, Iran’s Red Dragon International Wushu Association performed lion dance, a tradition in Chinese culture and other Asian countries in which performers mimic a lion’s movements in a lion costume.

Bian lian, an ancient Chinese dramatic art of face changing and traditional Chinese music was another part of the celebration.

Iranian artists also performed traditional Persian music to celebrate the event.

--------- Chinese cuisines, handicrafts: A new experience

On the sidelines of the event, Chinese cooks and artists offered traditional foods and handicrafts to the visitors.

Iranian visitors tasted different Chinese cuisines and sweets, which were introduced briefly in Persian on some banners in front of food stands.

Some exquisite Chinese handicrafts were also offered during the celebration.

----- Tourist exchange is encouraged: envoy

In reply to a question by the Tehran Times about facilities which have been provided by China to boost tourism ties with Iran, the ambassador said, “After the nuclear deal, we encouraged tourist exchange between the two countries. Nowadays more tourists from China are coming to Iran and more Iranians are visiting China.”

He explained about facilities that are being provided for tourists from both countries, including several tourism agencies in China, which offer services to Iranians.

“Iran is a great country for Chinese tourists. Iran boasts a rich culture and history. I am sure that tourism industry will see a great boom in the near future in this country,” he added.

For obtaining visa, he said that China offers special arrangements through travel agencies in Iran and if Iranians go to Chinese embassies there will be even simpler procedure.

“The event would help the attendees to know more about history of each country and it would be conveyed through mass media to tens of thousands of people to know more about such cultural exchange,” he said.

He pointed out to 17 agreements signed between the two countries in late January, saying that the agreements covered a wide range of areas, which included boosting infrastructures for tourism industry.

***** PHOTO: A chinese artist performs Bian lian, an ancient Chinese dramatic art of face changing, during chinese New Year and Iranian Nowruz celebration on March 3, 2016 (Maryam Kamyab/Mehr)

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