More than two thousand people attended today in Lisbon to the parade that is integrated into the festivities to celebrate the Chinese New Year and also visited a traditional Chinese fair.
The Chinese New Year began on February 5.
Manuela Machado said that these events are important for the Portuguese to get to know the Chinese culture, which means that “it is the first time that I come to the parade. I know that there is every year and I am very fond of it, I’ts very interesting“.
For Manuela Machado, who has been in Portugal for more than 40 years, “these initiatives also help to kill the longing for the earth“.
The Chinese-born Esperanza Wang said that this type of initiative “helps the integration of the Chinese in Portugal” and also “the Portuguese know a little more about Chinese culture.”
Tiago and Luis, two eight-year-old boys, who accompanied the parade with their parents, were very amused. “We’re really enjoying it,” said Tiago, adding that “it’s very different and colourful.”
The parade took place on Avenida Almirante Reis, which was decorated with traditional Chinese red lamps.
Chinese cultural and commercial associations, schools, various entities and bands paraded along the avenue as well as demonstrations of martial arts, dances, traditional clothes and typical music from various regions of China.
The traditional dragon also was not left out and was a prominent presence during the parade.
The traditional Chinese fair, located in the D. Afonso Henriques street, near the light source, is made up of exhibitors of associations, language schools, tourism, handicrafts, clothing and food from various Chinese regions.
At night, the program includes a traditional Chinese show.
In addition to Lisbon, Vila do Conde and Lagoa has joined the celebrations of the Chinese New Year, from 05 to 07 February, which take place in 2019 under the auspices of Porco, with events and Chinese cultural manifestations, from opera to gastronomy.
According to Chinese tradition, the Pig represents the end of the cycle of rotation of the twelve signs of the lunar calendar, thus entering into a moment of reflection and analysis on the past to project a new cycle.
The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is the most important date for all Chinese and is gaining increasing relevance “as China’s influence spreads around the world and cultural exchange increases,” according to the Chinese embassy in China. Portugal, which organizes several initiatives in partnership with municipalities and other entities.
The festival has already become “a Chinese cultural brand in Portuguese territory“, where celebrations are one of the “most elaborate in Europe“, adds the diplomatic mission, adding that since 2014 there have been five major events in Portugal.
Other celebratory events are taking place in Portugal. The move of the National Opera Company from Beijing to Portugal is one of the highlights of the celebrations, which take place in the same year that marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Portugal and the 20th anniversary of the transfer of power in Macao.
In 2018, the Chinese New Year celebrations around the world, known as Happy Chinese New Year have been held in more than 140 countries and 500 cities.
According to the Foreigners and Borders Service’s Immigration, Borders and Asylum of 2017, the Chinese were already the fifth most representative foreign resident community in Portugal with 23,197 people (+ 3.1% than in 2016), corresponding to 5.5% of the total number of immigrants.
The Chinese are also the main beneficiaries of the special residence permit scheme for investment activity (better known as ‘gold’ visas) with 4,013 visas awarded from the start of the program in October 2012 until November 2018.