Chinese lantern festival marks Year of Dragon in Budapest

A  visitor takes selfies at the Year of the Dragon Lantern Festival in  Budapest Zoo in Budapest, Hungary, Dec. 16, 2023. (Photo by Attila  Volgyi/Xinhua)

Hundreds  of Chinese lantern art pieces in Hungary celebrates not only Chinese  Lunar New Year, the Year of the Dragon, but also the diverse  Sino-Hungarian cultural exchange.

BUDAPEST,  Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- A lantern festival opened here on Saturday as part  of the celebrations for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of  the Dragon.

The  festival showcases hundreds of heritage lantern art pieces from Zigong,  a city in southwest China's Sichuan Province known for this traditional  art form.

"Year  2024 also marks the 75th anniversary of Sino-Hungarian diplomatic  relations," Sun Jie, counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Hungary, said  at the event's opening ceremony.

Lanterns  are displayed at the Year of the Dragon Lantern Festival in Budapest  Zoo in Budapest, Hungary, Dec. 16, 2023. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)

Sun  expressed hope that this lantern festival will not only display a  wonderful fusion of traditional Chinese culture and art, but also mark  the vibrant commencement of diverse Sino-Hungarian cultural exchange  activities in the new year.

Inside  the garden and building of the Biodome on the Budapest Zoo's boulevard,  following the lights from several hundred lanterns, one can step into  the illuminated world of the Year of the Dragon, capturing the beauty of  animals.

Visitors  take photos at the Year of the Dragon Lantern Festival in Budapest Zoo  in Budapest, Hungary, Dec. 16, 2023. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)

Endre  Sos, conservation and animal health director of the Budapest Zoo, said  that many people in Europe may not have fully realized the immense  creative potentials of the Chinese lantern art, noting that Chinese  artists, with their exquisite skills, can create lanterns in almost any  shape, which is truly remarkable.

The event is available every day between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. local time until Feb. 24. The Year of the Dragon starts on Feb. 10.

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