Feature: Chinese, Ukrainian tourists cheer Spring Festival in Ukraine's ancient city
16th Feb, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew
LVIV, Feb 16 : "Xinnian kuaile! Xinnian kuaile! Xinnian kuaile!" -- a group of Ukrainian girls is chanting "Happy New Year" in Chinese in the heart of Ukrainian ancient city of Lviv to greet the Spring Festival.
The festive atmosphere is in full bloom in the almost millennium-old city in western Ukraine, which hosts the Lunar New Year for the seventh year in a row.
The gothic and baroque buildings of Lviv and even its alleyways are decorated with red lanterns and colorful paintings with Chinese characters.
A huge statue of a dog, symbolizing the Year of the Dog in the Chinese zodiac, is welcoming the guests of the festivities near the Lviv Opera House in the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
About 40 pavilions with Chinese and Ukrainian food are installed on Ploshcha Rynok, the central square of Lviv, with people crowding around a pavilion with dumplings.
Inessa, a 25-year-old guest of the Spring Festival, said she "felt the taste of China" when sampling the dumplings.
"Really wonderful atmosphere reigns today and the Chinese food is simply perfect! I eat it for the first time in my life, and I really liked it," Inessa told Xinhua.
Chinese food, dragon dancing, laser show, Chinese karaoke, Kung Fu show and Spring-themed gala attracted thousands of tourists to Lviv.
Olga, a young lady from Dnipro city in southeastern Ukraine, came to Lviv with her boyfriend Zhang Yuanwei from China's northern Henan Province.
"This is the first time for my boyfriend to celebrate New Year far from his home. I decided to show him how the Spring Festival is celebrated in Ukraine," Olga told Xinhua.
"I think, everything is organized perfectly -- both scenery and music. When we were approaching the central square, Zhang Yuanwei heard the sounds of Chinese songs and was moved," Olga said.
For his part, Zhang said he also filled with joy when seeing the red lanterns hanging everywhere and the dragon show, which is typical for China.
"I really like today's atmosphere. I am very glad that I can see Chinese culture here. Lviv is the only Ukrainian city that has the spirit of China," Zhang told Xinhua.
Meanwhile, Chinese entrepreneur Zhu Liming from Beijing, who came to Ukraine on business, said that he liked the "telebridge with China" when the huge screen installed on the stage beamed the New Year festivities in major Chinese cities.
Zhu said he could never imagine that the Spring Festival is celebrated on such a big scale in the European cities.
"It is very good, it reminds me China. Some festival venues are even more crowded than in China," he told Xinhua.
Zhu said that he will continue the New Year celebration in the night club, which organizes a Spring Festival party for Chinese and Ukrainian youth.
Overall, the four-day Spring Festival in Lviv, which kicked off on Feb. 15, will be held on ten venues.