Dragon and Lion Dancing with Folk Music Bring Joy to Ancient City—People in Toledo, Spain Celebrate Chinese New Year with Confucius Institute

[Source]    Confucius Institute at University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain [Time]    2019-02-15 14:16:33 

On February 7th, local time, the third day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Confucius Institute at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) held a series of activities to celebrate the Spring Festival in Toledo, an ancient Spanish city. Nuria Cogolludo, Director of the Cultural Bureau of Toledo Municipal Government, Fátima Guadamillas, UCLM Vice-chancellor for Internationalization and Lifelong Learning, Jaime Moraleda, Spanish Director of the Confucius Institute, and Xu Caixia, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute attended the opening ceremony.

On the morning of that day, the beating of gongs and drums resounded to the skies in front of Palacio de Lorenzana where UCLM Confucius Institute is located. A golden dragon, a pair of mighty lions and lovely big head dolls attracted many people to stop and watch.

Group photo

At the opening ceremony, Fátima Guadamillas thanked Confucius Institute for its great contributions in teaching Chinese, promoting understanding and offering cultural experience to the people of the Castilla-La Mancha Autonomous Community.

Fátima Guadamillas giving a speech

Jaime Moraleda thanked all the Chinese teachers at the Confucius Institute for their outstanding work and hoped that the Chinese working and studying in Spain would make Castilla-La Mancha their own sweet home.

Xu Caixia expressed her appreciation to the Toledo municipal government and University of Castilla-La Mancha for their great support for the Confucius Institute. She said that the UCLM has developed rapidly in less than two years under the care and support from the society.

Nuria Cogolludo thanked UCLM Confucius Institute for its contributions to cultural and educational exchanges between Spain and China.

After the opening ceremony, the parade started from UCLM Confucius Institute and passed through the main streets of the ancient city Toledo to the municipal government. The dragon and the lion leaped and rolled to the accompaniment of sonorous gongs and drums. Nuria Cogolludo and other Toledo city officials watched the splendid dragon and lion dance and were invited to dot the eyes of a pair of lovely lions to wish the Chinese New Year.

Nuria Cogolludo dotting the eyes of the lion

Afterwards, the parade, surrounded by cheering crowds, proceeded to Plaza de Zocodover in downtown Toledo. Tourists from all over the world were immediately drew by the joyful sound of gongs and drums, brightly colored traditional Chinese costumes and the golden dragon and mighty lions. Teachers from the Confucius Institute enthusiastically answered the audience’s questions about the cultural customs of Chinese festivals.


On the afternoon of that day, Confucius Institute at University of Castilla-La Mancha held a wonderful concert of Chinese folk music. The artists played such Chinese folk instruments as yangqin (a Chinese hammered dulcimer), erhu (a two-stringed bowed musical instrument), gongs, drums, sanxian (a three-stringed fretless plucked musical instrument) and violins to perform “Wild Dance of the Golden Snake”, “Jasmine Flower”, “Joy” and other classical songs, attracting Spanish lovers of Chinese music to the concert.

Chinese folk music concert

After the concert, the audience expressed their gratitude to UCLM Confucius Institute for its elaborate planning of the Chinese New Year celebration, which vividly presented the festival culture of China through beautiful and cheerful music, costumes and festivities. They are fascinated by and absorbed in China’s ancient and vibrant culture.

The series of Chinese New Year celebrations attracted the attention of local media. National Radio of Spain, Televisión Española, Castilla–La Mancha Televisión, Toledo City Television, Onda Cero and SER conducted special interviews and live reports on the event.

Story and photos by Xu Caixia, Xiong Bian, Wei Juping


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