The Spring Festival, the most important traditional festival of the Chinese nation, is an embodiment of the great richness of the Chinese cultural elements. Originated from the division of the solar terms of the lunar calendar and closely connected with agricultural farming and production, the Spring Festival has reflected the close relationship between the Chinese civilization and the nature as well as the perception of “unity of man and nature.”During the Spring Festival, family reunion becomes a key word for each and every of the Chinese people, which gives full expression to the core values of the Chinese nation in cherishing family, social harmony and mutual assistance. The Spring Festival, the New Year on the lunar calendar, signifies a time of rebirth and renewal, and the celebrations of the Spring Festival carry the expectations and aspirations of the Chinese people for an even better life.
As China continues to enjoy economic development, social stability, growing global influence and international cultural engagement, the Spring Festival celebrations have been attracting more attention and involvement from various countries and regions. Some countries have even declared the Spring Festival one of their legal holidays.
At the beginning of this century, large scale cultural programs during the Spring Festival have been launched across the globe by the Ministry of Culture and other ministries and departments of China. In 2009, Vice Premier Liu Yandong, who was then a Chinese State Councilor, officially named this cultural initiative “Happy Chinese New Year”, which gave more impetus to the global celebrations of Chinese New Year. Since then, as the Spring Festival celebrations become more and more extended and far-reached, “Happy Chinese New Year”, with the vision of “happiness, harmony, dialogue and sharing”, has become a significant stage for international cultural interactions of China and a prominent icon for the promotion of Chinese culture. In 2014, for instance, by the date of Feb.14, the Lantern Festival, a total of 570 Chinese New Year events of various kinds were organized in 321 cities and towns of 112 countries and regions, attracting more than 70 million visitor attendances and an enormous size of newspaper, radio, TV and internet audience. From looking forward to an intensive feast of Chinese art during the Spring Festival, people now begin to appreciate the values of the Chinese culture represented by the Spring Festival through the expressions of art. For a number of foreigners, “Happy Chinese New Year” has become a valuable channel where they could experience the customs and traditions of the Chinese people. It is also a delight to note that in recent years, more and more innovative cultural programs, initiated by provincial and municipal governments and the private sector, have been promoted through cultural trade, new media and many new marketing methods, which further enriched the content of the Spring Festival, and made it more accessible and lively.
On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the naming of “Happy Chinese New Year,” we believe that the exhibition, as a new starting point for greater synergy, will take more joy and happiness of the Chinese Spring Festival to the whole world.