Tag Archives: Wushu

Joint celebration of Chinese and Iranian New Year in Tehran (Photos)

The Chinese Embassy in Tehran and the Iran-China Friendship Association have held a combined celebration marking Chinese New Year as well as Nowruz, Iranian upcoming New Year at Niavaran Cultural Complex.

Chinese cooks and artists offered traditional dishes and handicrafts to the visitors and Iranian artists performed traditional Persian music to celebrate the event. Iran’s Red Dragon International Wushu Association performed lion dance, a tradition in Chinese culture in which performers mimic a lion’s movements in a lion costume. Another part of the celebration was bian lian (literally: face changing), an ancient Chinese dramatic art where performers wear colored masks which they change from one face to another almost instantaneously with the swipe of a fan, a movement of the head, or wave of the hand.

Chinese Lunar New Year is also known as Spring Festival, as the season signifies a new start from the depths of winter, and the corresponding holiday carries the same meaning in Iranian culture. Nowruz, as the Iranian New Year is called in Persian, means “new day” and falls on the first day of the spring equinox every year. It is an ancient ritual dating back 2500 years and is rooted in Zoroastrianism.

There are remarkable similarities in the ways Chinese and Iranians celebrate their spring festivals, according to Alireza Salarian, consul general for Iran in Guangzhou: It is a time for family reunions, people who live away from their hometowns return for a family dinner. Fish is a common holiday dish, as is a version of the saying, “May you get more than you wish for every year.” Like the Chinese, Iranians enjoy a week long holiday, and children wear new clothes as they accompany their parents on visits to relatives.

While Chinese attach scrolls of blessing couplets on gateposts and offer guests nuts and candy in exquisite boxes, Iranians traditionally present an elaborate table setting with seven items starting with the letter “s” in the Persian alphabet.

Sources: China Daily, Mehr News Agency, Tehran Times, Wikipedia | Bian lian

Chinese New Year Festival in Tehran, Iran

More than 1,000 people took part in “Happy Chinese New Year in Iran” celebration in Tehran ahead of the date by enjoying Chinese food and martial arts performance.

The event, organized by the Chinese Embassy, was a chance for the participants to learn about Chinese traditions, such as Chinese medicine with a doctor from the University of Tehran showing the practice of acupuncture. The doctor said the Chinese medical clinic set up by the university receives dozens of patients every day as Chinese medicine has been gaining popularity in Iran in recent years.

Red Dragon, directed by Ahmad Rastgou, and co-produced by Iran and China was displayed at the event and a children’s workshop brought together Iranian and Chinese children through Chinese national games and entertainments. A charity shop presented Chinese traditional handicrafts including calligraphy and Chinese miniature along with fireworks entertained the guests.

Performers from a local martial arts club wowed the crowd with their stunning acts and lion dances. A treat to traditional Chinese snacks such as dumplings and noodles also attracted a long queue.

“This is my first time to join Chinese Spring Festival celebration. I think it’s very interesting. Spring Festival is the most important festival in China. I saw lion dances just now. It’s fantastic,” said a student studying Chinese language at university.

The Chinese ambassador, Mr. Pang Sen and the chairman of the Iran-China Friendship Society officially opened the New Year by painting the eyes of the dragon as a symbol of resurrection of the dragon. Mr. Sen accompanied guests in visiting pavilions designed to introduce Chinese culture and traditions.

China’s Ambassador to Tehran expressed gratitude for the guests and dignitaries in the ceremony and congratulated them on Chinese New Year; “Chinese New Year, like that of Iranians, is the spring and renewal of the life on earth, and is one of the greatest traditional festivities, which is widely celebrated across China with magnificent events,” he told the participants.

Wikipedia on the origins of Sino-Iranian relations:
The Parthians were apparently very intent on maintaining good relations with China and also sent their own embassies, starting around 110 BC: “When the Han envoy first visited the kingdom of Anxi (Parthia), the king of Anxi dispatched a party of 20,000 horsemen to meet them on the eastern border of the kingdom… When the Han envoys set out again to return to China, the king of Anxi dispatched envoys of his own to accompany them… The emperor was delighted at this.” (Shiji, 123, trans. Burton Watson).

In this link you can find a video of this year’s Chinese New Year Festival (with Chinese speaking Iranians): CCTV News Content

Here is a video report of last year’s Chinese New Year celebrations in Tehran (in English):

Sources: IRNA | Photos, wikipedia, Mehr News Agency, CCTV News Content