Feature: Morocco's "blue city" illuminated by Chinese red lanterns
RABAT, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- A total of 1,500 Chinese red lanterns have decorated the medina of Chefchaouen, known as Morocco's "blue city" for its colored walls and alleys.
The combination of two colors made a warm atmosphere for the upcoming Chinese Spring Festival, which falls on Feb. 5 this year, in the mountain city.
The Chinese Embassy in Morocco and the Rabat Chinese Cultural Center organized activities, called "Happy Chinese New Year," in several Moroccan cities. Among them, "Chefchaouen illuminated by red lanterns" is no doubt the most impressive.
In the afternoon, actors from China's Chongqing Municipality seized the rare moment of sunshine, played flash mob in the central square and alleys of Chefchaouen, offering short but memorable shows to residents in the medina.
After the music play, the Royal Moroccan Martial Arts Association and a lion dance group from China's Shenzhen city presented the audience with dragon and lion dances.
Nine-year-old local resident Yassmina Bakali told Xinhua that she likes the lion dance of Chinese performers and is very happy to see such an interesting show.
Mohammed Sajid, Moroccan Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicrafts and Social Economy, said that it was the first time that Chefchaouen hosted a large-scale Spring Festival celebration. The cultures of the two countries met and mixed here, which brings the two people closer to each other.
Zhang Kuangyi, a tourist from Beijing, specially arranged her trip to Chefchaouen on Friday, in order to take part in the Spring Festival celebration.
Zhang said she was very excited to see the Spring Festival celebrations in a foreign country. "I hope China will be more prosperous and the influence of Chinese culture will further expand."
As the night fell, thousands of people came to the central square of Chefchaouen.
Chinese Ambassador to Morocco Li Li, together with Sajid and local government representatives, pressed the switch to light up the 1,500 red lanterns in the old city, to wish the people a happy new year.