Tourists take photos of Chinese lanterns at an exhibition in Dinant, southern Belgium, on March 9, 2018. Two exhibitions dedicated to China: an exhibition of giant luminous lanterns and another exhibition of Chinese masks named "Happy Heads" opened in Dinant, a tourist town in southern Belgium. (Xinhua/Wang Xiaojun)
DINANT, Belgium, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Two exhibitions dedicated to China: an exhibition of giant luminous lanterns and another exhibition of Chinese masks named "Happy Heads" opened in Dinant, a small tourist town in southern Belgium.
The two exhibitions aimed to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year of Dog, which fell on Feb. 16 this year, and mark the 2018 China-EU Tourism Year, would run from March 9 to April 2.
"The all-round partnership of friendship and cooperation between China and Belgium is developing rapidly and cultural communication is one of the most important parts," said Zhang Chi, charge d'affaires of the Chinese embassy in Belgium at the opening ceremony on Friday.
"'EU-China Light Bridge' activities will further promote Sino-Belgian relations and make Chinese New Year culture known to the world," he added.
Mayor of Dinant Richard Fournaux told Xinhua that he hoped to strengthen the ties between China and Dinant and attracts more Chinese tourists.
"Last year, we invited Chinese New Year celebrations (parade) to Dinant. This year, the European Commission has proposed Dinant to participate in the 'EU-China Light Bridge' activities, to build a bridge of light with China," he noted.
"We will do our best to ensure our cooperation is not temporary and we decided to completely renew the tourist facilities of Dinant to attract Chinese tourists and to show the hospitality of Dinant as a host city for Chinese tourists," he said, "It is also a way to tell Europeans that visiting China can be interesting and amazing."
During the exhibition period, giant luminous lanterns of symbolic features in animals, or characters of Chinese traditional cultures, will light up various places of Dinant, such as the Croisette, the train station and the St Nicholas Square.
Meanwhile, there are a series of unpublished and amazing photo portraits by Belgian-Chinese artist duo Benoit + Bo unveiled on Friday in the salons of the Hotel de Ville in Dinant.
This exhibition is about the ancient tradition of Chinese masks. It will be presented in the form of contemporary works and decorated with giant masks in several places of the city.
These two exhibitions are part of a series of events celebrating the Chinese Lantern Festival, which is the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar month and marks the end of the Chinese New Year.
As part of the 2018 China-EU Tourism Year, 25 major European tourist sites, including Dinant, will light up in red, the representative color of China. And major tourist sites in China will also light up in blue, the representative color of Europe on May 9, the Europe Day.