February 7, 2016
Brussels celebrated for the first time the Chinese New Year, by organizing a parade in collaboration with the Embassy of China, the Chinese mission to the European Union and the Chinese community in Belgium . Of course I couldn't miss this event ! Despite the terrorist level n°3 on 4, the place and the streets were packed with people. I have never seen so many Chinese in my whole life. Apparently there are 40.000 Chinese living in Belgium. The terrorists probably feared the dangerous looking dragons and kept away.
This New Year, is placed under the sign of the monkey. The festivities should have started at 2 pm on the Grand-Place according to the program.
The Brussels Alderman for Culture and the Ambassador of China in Belgium should launch the festivities, according to tradition, awakening the dragons and lions, and allow the parade to start their procession. I don't know when they finally managed to wake up the dragons and lions, because it took them 2 h, only at 4 pm the parade was finally moving. Meanwhile people were freezing in the strong wind, fortunately the sun was shining, and everybody was in a cheerful mood and had a lot of fun.
Groups from Beijing and Shanghai had made the trip. In total, over 400 artists have participated in dance demonstrations, folk music or martial arts on the Grand Place and in front of "La Bourse" (the ancient stock market)
Manneken-Pis was dressed for the occasion in a traditional Chinese costume. Somebody pretended that for half an hour it peed beer !
We arrived very early because I wanted to take pictures of the different costumes
Somebody showed me the Dragon head, the rest was somewhere else
It was nice to see the dancers performing
As it was so cold I suggested Nicole to sit down in the Brasserie "Le Roi d'Espagne" (The Spanish King) We were very lucky because we found a seat directly at the window and we could watch the whole preparation of the parade and the parade itself from the window, sitting in the warmth and having a coffee.
I went on the second floor of the Brasserie and took this picture out of the window.
This was the view we had for 2 h ! Poor people who stand there and waited !
Then the parade started
having difficulties to break through the crowd
But slowly, slowly it worked
Two princesses in beautiful costumes were sitting in this with pink veiled riksha. Unfortunately you can't see them on the picture.
The costumes and hats were all very colorful.
The Chinese orchestra, the pandas who started the parade and one of the dragons.
This one was very long ! Couldn't get it in one shot !
And the orchestra played and singers sang Chinese music.
We couldn't follow the parade until the end, because it was already so late. It was a pity that it hasn't started at 2 as it was foreseen. Nevertheless it had been a huge success and no incident happened.
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
February 7, 2016