CNY Celebrations Overseas

CNC report from Toronto, St. Petersburg, Finland, Yangon
Added On February 12, 2013

Sunday marked the first day of the Year of the Snake in the Chinese Lunar calendar, a symbol of wealth and rebirth.

And as China welcomes the snake in various ways this week, from lion dances to fireworks, the event is also being widely celebrated abroad, including in Finland and Canada.

STANDUP: AL CAMPBELL, CNC CORRESPONDENT
"Vancouverites got experience a collision of eastern and western art forms on Saturday night when the third annual Spring Show was held before more than 1,000 people at the city’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre. What made this show unique was the 10 different acts were from all around the world and featured Chinese acts from China, as well as Chinese acts from Canada, and western acts, making for a truly memorable evening."
 
As young dancers opened the show walking through the audience, a group called Motion Artistry Dance performed a poetic piece called Chinese Etiquette.
 
Also performing was renowned Beijing Opera singer, Lucy Xu, who gave an animated, contemporary take on the 'Modern Drunken Concubine.'
 
One of the highlights of the evening was an electrifying performance by Joel Hanna and the J-Han Dance Company.

The Vancouver dancer is known for his fusion of tap dance, musical percussion, Irish Dance and martial arts.
 
SOUNDBITE:
"I'm very happy. My friend gave me the ticket to the show. I'm so happy to see all those different dances."
 
SOUNDBITE:
"Absolutely fabulous, it's just amazing. People are so talented, the dancers, the little girls, it’s so great. Really, really enjoy being here."

In Russia, St. Petersburg residents and members of the city's Chinese expat community gathered along Nevsky Prospect to take part in a parade marking Chinese New Year.

The procession formed a huge dragon, a tradition in Chinese celebrations.

The event was also a chance for Russian's to see typical ways of celebrating the most important Chinese holiday.

Some even joined in a calligraphy class.

In Finland, the Spring Festival is no longer the exclusive holiday enjoyed only by the Overseas Chinese.

It's become a holiday favored by Fins, too.
   
In Helsinki, a parade of the dragons and lion dances to the sound of gongs and drums moved along the street.

People in the mighty procession walked nearly two kilometers towards the temple fair scene.
   
On stage, performers from Beijing and Helsinki gave Chinese folk music and dance performances, along with dragon and lion dances, Peking Opera and acrobatics.
   
SOUNDBITE: Performer
"I think it's physically demanding, but our backgrounds in Chinese Wu Shu helps a lot."
   
SOUNDBITE:  Performer
"It's exiting to perform to people, to show them Chinese culture and different kinds of things. In the dark winter in Finland there is not much to see, so, bright colors and happy people, its always very nice." 
   
SOUNDBITE: HUANG XING, Chinese Ambassador to Finland
"I wish everyone a prosperous and promising life in the coming year of water snake. Happy new year!"

Myanmar's Chinese community also celebrated new year eve with dragon and lion dance parade in Chinatown in Yangon.

With large classic drums beating and colorful festive flags flying, the round-the-Chinatown dancing procession made up by over 60 performances of lion and dragon dancing groups.

An organizer told CNC they held the parade to welcome the new year with a sign of good fortune for the future... While preserving China's ancient history and traditions.