TAIYUAN, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- More than 100 overseas students have been invited to an ancient town in north China's Shanxi Province to join celebrations for Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), which falls on Feb. 5.
"An opening Pingyao welcomes you" is the celebration of the ancient town of Pingyao, running from Jan. 28 to Feb. 20. More than 100 students across the world participated in the opening ceremony on Jan. 28.
The students took part in celebrations, watching traditional performances, such as opera, acrobatics and magic shows, joining in the Spring Festival Gala, lantern shows, cultural exhibitions, and learning about the local customs.
Farhad Farzad, an Afghan student studying Chinese in a university in the city of Taiyuan, Shanxi's capital, said it was the first time for him to celebrate Spring Festival. He wrote "happy new year" in Chinese with a writing brush.
Chisom Nwosu, from Nigeria, said that the festival atmosphere in Pingyao was jubilant and the performances were great. It was her chance to gain a better understanding of traditional Chinese folk culture.
Pingyao became a UNESCO world cultural heritage in 1997. It is famous for its well-preserved ancient city walls.
In the 1980s, there were rarely foreign visitors in Pingyao. However, the figure soared to 115,000 last year. The ancient town has received more than 1.5 million foreign tourists since 1997.