New Zealand’s Christchurch celebrates Year of the Ox with parades, dances

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WELLINGTON, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) — New Zealand’s Christchurch ushered in the Year of the Ox with multiple cultural events, highlighted by a Lunar New Year theme street parade on Sunday with traditional dancers and musicians, dragons, lions and much more.

The fifth annual Chinese New Year Parade is again proud to present to Christchurch another unique combination of traditional and contemporary performance art by the local Chinese community, according to the parade organizers.

“It’s our wish that Christchurch can come and not just share with our joy of this celebration but share in our hope the new year will bring many blessing for our city and the world,” the organizers said in a statement.

The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a cloud over the world, and people “definitely need some after the year we have been through,” said Liu Mao, deputy president of the Chinese Culture Association (NZ), the organizer of a Chinese New Year Gala in Christchurch.

The celebration for welcoming in the Lunar New Year is the most important festive event for the Chinese community, with the hope that the new beginning will bring in a rejuvenation of luck and fortune, Liu said.

Candy Zhang, senior diversity and engagement advisor of New Zealand’s Office of Ethnic Communities, said in a speech ahead of the performance that the government is “committed to valuing ethnic diversity and building social cohesion and inclusion as we all work hard towards the recovering from COVID-19.” Enditem

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