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Chinese-themed carnival float, dance performance won first place in Malta

Updated: 2023-02-27 15:59 ( Chinaculture.org )
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Labonski Carnival Company’s float and dancers amazed people with a creative theme surrounding Chinese culture and won first place in Malta’s Gozo’s Regional Carnival 2023 on Feb 21.

Yuan Yuan, Director of the China Cultural Centre in Malta, congratulated the Labonski Carnival float and dancers and said: “This was the first time that the centre collaborated with a local carnival company. It is very exciting to see Chinese culture being promoted and enjoyed in Malta and festivals like the Gozo Carnival.”

“The idea to construct a float with a Chinese theme was developed two years ago,” said Jean Grima, secretary and one of the leaders of the Labonski Carnival Company. “Renowned Gozitan artist Adonai Camilleri Cauchi worked on the design, and after the committee and members agreed, we started to give life to this new creation.”

Grima explained that Gozo floats are constructed differently than those in Malta, particularly in the use of a metal frame rather than a wooden one.

Building a float involves long and laborious processes, including covering the base frame with chicken wire, two layers of newspapers and then thicker paper. Next comes the preparatory layers that will serve as a base for the fluorescent colour paint used to decorate the float. The interior mechanisms to move the figures on the float are also added. Eventually, light ornaments are added to enhance the look. For the first time this year, the Labonski Carnival Company also utilised light screens on the float. Moreover, two screens showing intriguing footage about China and its culture were erected on the tractor that pulled the float.

Themed on Romance and Martial Arts, the float was headed by a huge, colourful dragon, making loud noises and spurting smoke from its mouth. On top of the dragon was a carriage decorated with lanterns, fans, peach blossoms and Chinese characters. Standing on the carriage was a beautiful Chinese lady figure clad in traditional Chinese clothing, guarded by Kungfu masters Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan on each side. At the rear of the float, a Chinese couple sat on a swing and kissed each other while forming a heart with their fingers.

“We have chosen the Chinese theme because Chinese culture is very colourful and decorative, giving us an opportunity to make fantastic creations,” said esteemed artist Michael Camilleri Cauchi.

His work was displayed by the Labonski Dance Company dancers dressed in colourful red armour and golden dragons. They also presented a performance that blended western and eastern cultures.

“Expenses are high to design such a good work,” said George Zammit, the founder of the Labonski Carnival Company who has been working on Carnival floats since 1974. “However, by now, the carnival is part of our life, and we will do whatever it takes to build beautiful carnival floats each year. We have really appreciated the support from the China Cultural Centre in Malta, since this encourages us to continue to share carnival joy with all who come to celebrate with us.”

An important part of the Maltese culture, carnivals date back to the 1530s in the European country. Every year carnivals are held on the islands of Malta and Gozo, attracting tens of thousands of people to take part. This year, more than 25,000 people attended the Gozo’s Regional Carnival on Feb 18.

Two dancers perform in front of the float themed on Chinese culture designed by Labonski Carnival Company at the Gozo’s Regional Carnival 2023. [Photo provided to Chinaculture.org]


Labonski Carnival Company dancers dressed in traditional Chinese clothing at the Gozo’s Regional Carnival 2023. [Photo provided to Chinaculture.org]


Labonski Carnival Company dancers at the Gozo’s Regional Carnival 2023. [Photo provided to Chinaculture.org]


Labonski Carnival Company dancers at the Gozo’s Regional Carnival 2023. [Photo provided to Chinaculture.org]
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