"Happy Chinese New Year" celebration events launched in Malta

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A program of events celebrating the Chinese Spring Festival, which falls on Feb. 12, kicked off on Friday in the island country Malta.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a majority of these events hosted by the China Cultural Center in Malta will be online.

The 12th "Imagine China" children's art competition, which is co-organized by the China Cultural Center and the Ministry of Education in Malta, was launched on Friday. It is the first program to be held among a series of celebration events.

Themed "Magnificent China," the competition features 155 art works created by students from 18 local schools. Selected pieces will be exhibited on websites and social media platforms.

Other events include performances, educational programs, quizzes, Chinese salons and a film festival, said Yang Xiaolong, director of the China Cultural Center in Malta.

An opera, Turandot, to be presented online, on TV and on the big screen in the capital city Valletta as well from Feb. 7, will be a highlight of the celebration, Yang said.

Local audiences will also have the opportunity to visit an online Chinese Zodiac culture exhibition during the celebration, which features an array of colorful designs and installations. The exhibition will mainly focus on the legends, myths and symbolism associated with the zodiac animal of the year 2021, the Ox.

On Feb. 9-18, there will be a Chinese film festival where six classic Chinese films will be broadcast at the St. James Cavalier in Valletta. These films will allow audiences to explore and better understand China's past and present.

The "Happy Chinese New Year" online get-together, which features martial arts, singing and dancing, will be open to the public on Feb. 9. The event is jointly organized by the China Cultural Center and the Confucius Institute of the University of Malta.

On Feb. 26, the two institutions will also join forces to hold an online Lantern Festival Chinese Salon, where visitors can enjoy the unique charm of the Chinese language and traditional culture through interactive events.

Moreover, a Chinese cultural classroom program will be offered to secondary school students in Malta during the celebration period, in which a Chinese theme will be explored in each of their usual subjects such as Maltese, English, geography, home economics, physical education and arts.

"Our aim is to bring new hope, enthusiasm and strength during the celebration of Happy Chinese New Year," Yang said.

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