BUENOS AIRES, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- With cultural, culinary and artistic events, Argentina's extensive Chinese New Year celebrations have highlighted the country's booming interest in China.
Just over a week after this year's Spring Festival kicked off on Feb. 5, celebrations are in full swing in Argentine capital Buenos Aires, including discussions on China's millenary civilization, film screenings, art exhibitions and traditional New Year's feasts to usher in the Year of the Pig.
Brian Nejamen, a football promoter, was among a group of guests invited by a Chinese restaurant named "Beijing" in the city to dine on Peking duck, steamed fish and other delicacies.
He enjoyed the "real Chinese food," saying he is happy to see his country's growing interest in everything about China.
"I think it's fantastic because I have been interested in Chinese culture for years, and I see that today Argentinian society is also interested," Nejamen said.
Denise Obrador, a staff member at the National Museum of Oriental Art, was also invited.
"Everything was incredible," she said, adding that the chef showed them "how it (Peking duck) is made and how to eat it."
"It was very interesting to be able to explore this gastronomy, which was new to most of us," said Obrador.
Jose Martiniano Duarte, another guest, agreed with Nejamen that Argentines are becoming more interested in China.
"It's tremendous. Lately, there has been a boom," said Martiniano, who is also a fan of Chinese food.
Meanwhile, in downtown Buenos Aires, the new auditorium of the Chinese Cultural Center at the University of Congress served as the epicenter of cultural activities of the New Year celebrations.
The center screened the third episode of a documentary series on cultural and trade exchanges between China and Argentina, which was co-produced by China Central Television and Argentina's America TV, with the participation of Argentine production agency Integra Industrias Culturales.
Mercedes Demasi, a representative of Integra, said the documentary series is about the "similarities and differences between China and Argentina. This episode is specifically about gastronomy."
"We were expecting a certain number of people, but many more showed up," said Demasi, adding that she was also surprised to see that the event attracted average Argentines, not just those with connections to China.
Argentina's Chinese New Year celebrations also featured a dragon boat race on Feb. 3, the first in Latin America, and an international exhibition on the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, which showcased photographs and video clips on China's development since 1978.
The festivities started at the first weekend of February, with a culinary and cultural fair at the capital's Argentine National Parks Plaza, which drew thousands of people and culminated in a spectacular fireworks show.