The "art of umbrellas" magic show performed by an artist from the Chengdu School of Culture and Arts Photos: Lala La Photo
Hundreds gathered for a Chinese New Year gala on Monday evening at Casino 2000 to bring in the year of the rat.
The sold-out event capped off a Chengdu culture and tourism week in Luxembourg, which ran 16-20 January. Zhang Jing, head of the China Cultural Center in Luxembourg, one of the main organisers of the gala, called the Chinese New Year “the most celebrated festival in the world” adding that, although it takes place at a different time than 1 January, “the core values are the same”. That includes families coming together, with well wishes to bring health and prosperity for the year ahead.
29 artists from the Chengdu School of Culture and Arts dazzled the audience with acrobatics, including an act in which the performers wore panda costumes; a magic show using traditional paper umbrellas; a dance with a puppet that changed faces; a martial arts segment; plus an impressive display of skills using diabolos, a juggling prop made of two cups and an axle, manoeuvred by spinning a string using two hand sticks.
Acts by local musicians were also included: Zala and Val Kravos played piano four hands (in which two players perform on the same piano), while Yan Liu performed on the guzheng, a plucked string instrument.
Prior to the on-stage performances, the Casino 2000 lobby was transformed into a showcase of Chinese cultural heritage, where visitors could learn how to prepare rice ball desserts or try their hand at traditional paper cutting. Children and adults alike queued to see a calligrapher hand paint traditional umbrellas and lanterns, made of paper and bamboo. These style of lanterns, the origins of which date back around 2,000 years, are today hung as symbols of joy and reunion.