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Manchester's Chinese community holds cultural events

Reporter: Xi Jia 丨 CCTV.com

02-07-2016 15:30 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Spring Festival

Manchester will be seeing in the Year of the Monkey in style, with a series of themed events and activities as the city hosts the UK's biggest celebrations outside of London.

More than 1000 lanterns will be lit in the UK's second largest Chinese community on the night of February 12th. Those spectacular handmade lanterns from the Chinese city of Zi Gong will attract more than 30000 visitors to this section of Manchester city.

"The UK Lantern Festival is the biggest one of its kind with the theme of Chinese culture in the UK. The reason why we chose lanterns from Zigong is that the history of making lanterns there goes back centuries. There are more than a hundred thousand people who are very skillful and very good at making lanterns," said Yang Jie, Lantern Festival organizer.

This brightening of the city is only the start of its celebrations for the 33th Spring Festival Gala of the Year of the Monkey. Chinese students from 31 universities in Manchester are staging a wide variety of shows directed and performed by themselves.

Kang Ke, who read a Chinese poem for President Xi Jinping during his visit in the UK last year, is now hosting the gala for the first time.

Zhu Yunbian, who played Erhu for President Xi Jinping and Prince William during Xi's visit to Lancaster House Palace, is also taking part in the gala. He says this time he plays two other pieces which are not that traditional,as he wants to show some new cultural mix to the audience.

Erhu solos, lion dances, red fan dances and folk music ensembles, the gala is full of Chinese traditional elements as well as some from western cultures. Overseas Chinese and foreigners with an interest in Chinese culture enjoy the gala each year.

"I have been living in Manchester for 16 years. Each year, we look on this gala as the one held in China. It seems that only after watching this can we enjoy the Spring Festival. It's full of the feeling of being at home," said a Chinese man named Zhu Kai.

Manchester has promised to stage "one of Europe's biggest celebrations" with several city-wide events including lantern shows, a dragon parade, fireworks and performances to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival. All of this will help the 40000 Chinese in Manchester have almost the same experience in this festival as their families in China.

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