CHENGDU, China, Jan. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Like Christmas in the West, Spring Festival is the most important and spectacular traditional festival to the Chinese. People's homesickness and hope for family reunions are the same worldwide. The Chinese are witnessing their Spring Festival going global.
Beginning from 2010, Joyous Spring Festival, an extravaganza sponsored by China's Ministry of Culture and comprising a series of events, takes place on time in cosmopolitan cities from year to year. Intended to celebrate Chinese New Year and share Chinese culture along with the world and inculcate the harmony concept on a global level, the Beijing-hosted cultural exchange initiative has organized 2,100 activities in more than 400 cities in over 140 countries and regions.
The Joyous Spring Festival reappeared in Madrid this month, the 7th time it was celebrated in Spain. Nevertheless, this time there was a distinction - the festival introduced a GOH (Guest of Honor) City Week as a new component and Chengdu, a megacity in Western China, came out as the first GOH city.
According to a report by JoongAng Ilbo, on Jan. 13, the Spanish Chengdu Week 2017 was launched in Madrid Center of Chinese Culture. A range of traditional cultural heritages typical of Chengdu made an appearance at the opening ceremony, including Sichuan cuisine, Sichuan opera, tea art, shadow puppetry, paper cutting and face changing. After the ceremony Madrid Mayor Mrs. Carmena expressed her longing for a visit to Chengdu, "The performances are so impressive. I want to book a flight to Chengdu right now!"
Prominent Chengdu chefs served Madrid citizens the most "authentic" New Year's Eve dinner during the week. Besides, Sichuan cuisine master chefs gave a lecture at a local culinary arts college, demonstrating Sichuan culinary art on the spot. An event that lasted from Jan. 12 to Jan. 19 at a Madrid zoo highlighted painted panda sculptures, panda story walls and panda-themed lectures, making a marvelous success that associated art with the animal native to China. From Jan. 13 to Jan. 19, Chengdu Tourism & Culture Center at Plaza Mayor opened its gate to visitors who had longed to enjoy Sichuan tea, Sichuan spirits, Sichuan cuisine, Sichuan opera, tea art and shadow puppetry in part to know more about this China's Best Tourist Destination and its local tourism products and routes.
Over the past few years, Chengdu and Spain have witnessed increasingly closer ties. According to authoritative statistics, foreign trade between Chengdu and Spain in the first half of 2016 alone amounted to USD53.13 million, divided into USD37.87 million export and USD15.26 million import.
A couple of months earlier, a delegation headed by Spanish Ambassador Manuel Valencia to China called at Chengdu. The ambassador expressed his rosy outlook on the future of the city, pledging to promote cooperation in trade & commerce, civil aviation and sister city relationships.
Chengdu has launched a direct route to Madrid on Dec 16, 2016, the first of its kind to link Southern Europe with Chengdu as well as one of the nine international routes opened at World Routes 2016 in Chengdu last September. Currently, Chengdu operates nearly 100 international routes which join 70 cosmopolitan cities (e.g. Los Angeles, Paris, Frankfurt, Melbourne and Doha) and provide for 42 million passengers on a yearly basis. Construction of a second international airport is already under way, which, upon completion, promises to form an "Aeronautic Triangle" in China together with Beijing and Shanghai, two other cities boasting two airports each, thereby further unfolding China's open-door policy and bringing Western China a lot closer to the world.
The megacity in Western China now ranks as one of the few national hubs due to fast economic growth achieved in recent years. As the government steps up efforts to make Chengdu a strategic center of economy, technology, culture & creativity, foreign trade and transportation, the city once known for pandas, good food, historical and cultural heritage sites is drawing ongoing global attention to an ever-improving investment climate.
Latest statistical updates show that Chengdu manufactures one half of the world's iPads, one fifth of the PCs and one half of the notebook CPUs. 278 out of the Fortune 500 companies have deployed offices or plants in this city, where nearly one million Volkswagens, Volvos and Toyotas roll off the line every year and FAW-Volkswagen Chengdu produces one third of the group's cars.
A Spanish proverb goes, "Count your friends and you'll know about your wealth." Devoted to an increasingly closer partnership, Chengdu and Spain are committed to strengthening their ties and creating more wealth in the coming year.
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SOURCE Chengdu Municipal Government