by Guo Chunju
TALLINN, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- The arrival of the "Happy Chinese New Year" Beijing delegation with the colorful performance has turned the ordinary snowy Saturday afternoon in Tallinn, capital of Estonia, into an extraordinary one, energizing the medieval Old Town.
At the Freedom (Vabaduse) Square, dragon and lion dancing by performers from the Estonian Sports and Traditional Wushu Federation, which was taught by Beijing performers in 2015, and the Estonian acrobatic fire show preceded the Chinese opening dance: To celebrate with Lanterns and Streamers.
It was followed by Kung Fu, Wushu and Taiji, as well as Chinese folk music and Beijing Opera.
Thousands of audience including kids and elders stood on the steps of the square and several audience platforms to enjoy the performance amid the snowy weather, responding with applause, taking photos and shooting videos with smart phones.
The city square were crowded with the spectators of high interest. There stood ice sculptures depicting dogs by Chinese craftsmen to celebrate 2018, the Year of the Dog according to the Chinese lunar calender.
There were pavilions of both Estonian and Chinese crafts, including the national intangible cultural heritage cloisonne, opera costume for viewers to wear and be taken photos, as well as Chinese calligraphy practice of the character FU for blessing or fortune.
There were also the Beijing tourism photo exhibition and a temple fair of both Chinese food and Estonia products.
Estonian Sculptor Tauno Kangro, whose distinctive sculptures have become the symbolic objects of a number of places in Estonia, were seen putting the finishing touches to his polymer clay dog sculpture inside one of the pavilion.
Kangro told Xinhua that last year his sculpture for the year of the Rooster, exhibited also for the "Happy Chinese New Year" event, was cast in bronze and is currently shown in the Tallinn Zoo.
Zhong Liansheng, Chinese cloisonne craftsman inheritor, told Xinhua "It's the first time for cloisonne products to join the Chinese New Year celebration in Estonia, and many local people are attracted here".
Ma Wen, associate counsel of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture, said that it's the ninth time of "Happy Chinese New Year" celebration event held in Estonia, which aims to promote the exchanges between Beijing and Tallinn and enhance the friendship of China and Estonia, through a series of events of business, technology, sports and culture.
Tallinn city mayor Taavi Aas and Chinese Ambassador to Estonia Li Chao, both of whom delivered a speech, stressed that the ninth time of "Happy Chinese New Year" celebration event in Estonia comes at the right time of the Estonian centenary of independence.
Li termed the event as "a birthday gift" from the Chinese people to Estonian people for friendship, with the aim to promote local exchanges of the two countries and enhance mutually beneficial cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.
Aas told Xinhua that "the friendship between the two cities of Tallinn and Beijing are good, including people-to-people exchanges. I hope this would continue to deepen the relations between Estonia and China".
Co-organized by the Beijng municipal government and the Tallinn city government, the annual event becomes part of the "Happy Chinese New Year", a universal celebration for Chinese Lunar New Year across the globe.