MADRID, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese new year celebrations were held across Spain over the weekend with several colorful activities in major cities, giving the local an occasion to feel the ancient culture from the East.
In the El Raval district of Barcelona, a dragon dance was held by members of the Confucius Institute Foundation as part of a parade.
One of these enthusiastic youngsters, Noel Sirerol, has been studying Chinese for three years and had the opportunity to study in China last summer. "This is definitely a highly recommended experience," he said.
"Observing other cultures makes you think twice about your own; that is precisely what makes you grow and what makes you better," he told Xinhua. "Celebrations like these really bring cultures together," he added.
Another young student, Marina, has been studying Chinese for 10 years. She asked one of her Chinese classmates' mothers to teach her Chinese when she was only six years old. "My dad did not understand at first. But now, after so many years, he can see how much I love Chinese culture and he is coming to see my performance as part of the Chinese new years celebrations," she said with a broad grin.
In Madrid, in the "Chinese quarters" of Usera, there were workshops, Chinese lanterns, dances, food, which created a special atmosphere for attendees.
In a workshop on Chinese tea ceremony, we met Fede. "I came to this workshop because my friend who plays guzheng invited me."
Guzheng, also known as the Chinese zither, is a Chinese plucked string instrument with a more than 2,500-year history.
"Coming here to celebrate with my Chinese friends reminds me of my life in China," he added. Fede for five months studied at the Beijing University, one of the most prestigious in the country.
Celeste is a Chinese teacher at the Official School of Languages in Valladolid.
"Language and culture are absolutely interrelated, so if you want to study Chinese you also need to understand the Chinese culture. That is why I brought my students to Chinese new year celebrations," she said.
One of her students, Javier, said: "We are really happy to be here celebrating with Chinese community."