Klija Festival begins in Buraidah on Thursday

Klija Festival begins in Buraidah on Thursday
Klija Festival begins in Buraidah on Thursday

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: The Chinese New Year was marked with much fanfare on Monday night at Riyadh’s Boulevard World, which included performances of traditional dances and music.

Pan Shihoa, a first-time visitor to the Kingdom, told Arab News: “It’s the first time that I felt the Chinese New Year atmosphere in Saudi Arabia and I’m very happy.”

Pan, who is from Fujian province, and was with a group of friends, said that he was excited to see his culture and traditions showcased.

“I feel the friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China,” Pan said, who explained to locals the significance of the festivities during the celebration. 

This year the Chinese New Year falls on Saturday, Feb.10, marking the Year of the Dragon.

The activities at Boulevard World featured the Chinese ribbon and dragon dances, to the accompaniment of traditional music. 

Pan said the dragon dance is performed to ensure good luck and prosperity, as well as to ward off bad spirits. 

Chen Weiqing, China’s ambassador in the Kingdom, launched the festivities.

As a part of the celebration the traditional new year song “Thousands of Horses Galloping,” was played, which is meant to symbolize how unity can be a powerful and unstoppable and force.

Pan explained that traditionally in China celebrations last up to two weeks and extend past the seven-day public holiday period.

He said that he celebrates Chinese New Year at home, just as it is done in Riyadh, by attending a lantern festival, lion and dragon dances, and theater performances.

He said China’s streets are filled with people during the new year celebrations.

He said the Kingdom was a fascinating place to see. “Saudi Arabia is a mysterious country. This is my first time here. It is a country with great potential and is currently being developed. More people will come here to travel and invest.”

The Chinese New Year was also celebrated last year at Riyadh’s Boulevard World with screens at the venue featuring Spring Festival-themed videos.  

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