Welcome to Chinese New Year
There were many people at the Olympic Museum on the evening of 6 February to celebrate Chinese New Year’s Eve. Guest were welcomed at the lakeside by four Beijing 2008 mascots; there was a torch-lit parade across the park, a dragon dance, to ward off evil spirits, on the Museum’s terrace - nothing had been left to chance to celebrate the big Beijing 2008 exhibition, the programme of festivities which accompanies it and above all the passing from the Year of the Pig to the Year of the Rat.
A few months until the Games…
The official part allowed Urs Lacotte, IOC Director General; Zhu Bangzao, Chinese Ambassador in Bern; and Hein Verbruggen, Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for these Games, to recall the fascinating undertaking that organising the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in this city in the process of radical transformation represents for the Olympic Movement.
Music, king fu and Chinese gastronomy
Next on the programme was a guided tour of the Beijing 2008 exhibition, a demonstration of kung fu, then a concert given by the Guangdong National Orchestra, one of the most prestigious in China, and which brings together some of the best musicians from the largest conservatoires in the country. During the evening and before the great Chinese buffet, the arts of paper cutting and calligraphy allowed the guests to find out about all the subtleties of these ancestral techniques representative of the Middle Kingdom.
The celebration continues…From today and until Sunday, the Chinese New Year festivities continue at the Olympic Museum with the Spring Festival. There will be paper-cutting and calligraphy demonstrations, introductions to the lion dance and other traditional dances, and tastings of typical Chinese New Year delicacies. Finally, in the auditorium, images of the Chinese New Year in Beijing in the run-up to the Games will be broadcast.
Learn more on the Beijing 2008 exhibition
Learn more on the full 2008 Programme of Events