Chinese Embassy in Kenya on Wednesday hosted an extraordinary fete in Nairobi in preparation for the Lunar New Year to be celebrated on February 12, 2023.
The reception at the United Nations Office in Nairobi was graced by the UN Under-Secretary-General Zainab Hawa Bangura, among other dignitaries including envoys from different countries.
“This year is the first time in the United Nation’s history that the lunar new year is henceforth recognized as part of the UN holiday calendar,” said Bangura while disclosing that the UN Secretary-General will deliver his goodwill message on the day of celebrations.
“For today’s celebration, my message on behalf of the United Nation’s family in Kenya is to say may this lunar year of the dragon bring peace, joy, good health, and prosperity to all,” the UN Under-Secretary added
Popular as the Chinese Spring Festival in China, Beijing’s top diplomat in Nairobi ambassador Zhou Pingjian said, the celebrations are significant in that they provide an avenue for the world to gain a deeper understanding of China and her people.
“The Spring Festival symbolizes joy, harmony, unity, and prosperity, and embodies the core values of harmony, love, and peace in Chinese culture as well as Chinese people’s bond and responsibility to their family and the country,” he said
“The Spring Festival is also a window into China’s economic vibrancy,” he added
According to Ambassador Zhou, China’s GDP reached a 5.2 percent year-on-year growth in 2023, representing a contribution to world economic growth at 32 percent. The year saw China become the largest car exporter worldwide.
As the second largest economy in the world, the Chinese envoy says China has established sound and solid fundamentals after years of development.
“Just as a healthy person often has a strong immune system, the Chinese economy can handle ups and downs in its performance. The overall trend of long-term growth will not change,” he said
“We are now advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts through high-quality development, which will definitely provide continuous impetus to the development of China and the wider world,” added Zhou
The Spring Festival is celebrated in China and around the world. The Lunar New Year is a public holiday in almost 20 countries and is celebrated in various ways by about one-fifth of humanity. At the same time, Traditional Lunar New Year activities are organized in nearly 200 countries and regions.
It is also the oldest and the most important traditional festival in Chinese culture. It’s been celebrated for more than four thousand years by the Chinese nation.
“The festival has become a global cultural event, bringing joy to people around the world. Now it’s officially listed as a UN floating holiday, demonstrating values of inclusiveness and diversity which have always been advocated by the organization,” said the ambassador
“Such development also contributes to mutual learning among different civilizations of the world and a better understanding of how deep and wonderful human civilization can be,” added the envoy
He said the Chinese are more than happy to celebrate the Lunar New Year with the world and expressed hope that all civilizations will live in harmony and prosper together while enjoying mutual understanding and friendship as a community with a shared future for mankind.