A large number of visitors thronged the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park on Friday to experience 'a unique celebration of rich Chinese culture and tradition' at the Chinese Festival 2016.
Divided into several zones, the four-day event, which concludes on Saturday, features a variety of authentic Chinese traditional shows and entertainment led by Zhejiang’s leading musicians and performers.
The festival also showcases tea ceremonies and calligraphy demonstrations; photography exhibition; and arts and crafts activities including woodblock printing, rice sculpture, puppet shows, and kite-making workshops.
“This is lovely, fantastic, and would entice a lot of people in Qatar to visit China,” said Sarah, an expatriate from the UK. She is also planning to visit exhibits from the Terracotta Army at the MIA.
Like any visitor roaming around the park, Sarah said she enjoys the atmosphere at the festival with her family: from the cherry blossoms to the Chinese food, as well as the red suns and lanterns displayed at various areas of the venue.
Some of the dishes offered by popular hotel restaurants at the festival include Peking duck sliders, a variety of dumplings with choices of different sauces, spring rolls, Yangzhou fried noodles (mixed vegetable, chicken and noodles), sweet and sour chicken, and Wok fried rice noodle with beef, among others.
Visitors were also fascinated with the puppets and dolls used for the Pingyang puppet show, which has more than 800 years of history.
The puppet show mainly uses marionettes (hanging wire puppets), known to be an extensive stage performing arts using hand and rod puppets, and dolls altogether.
Some of the attractions at the event also include the Xiashi coloured lantern, named after Xiashi town, Haining City in Zhejiang province, which has a 1,200 years of history.
Described as a “wonderful work of art,” the making of Xiashi coloured lanterns include poetry, calligraphy, painting, carving, embroidery, and other artistic elements. These are mainly pavilions, animals, dragon lights colourful boats, flower baskets, and pagodas.
Each of the eight techniques in making the lanterns is complex, delicate, and exquisite.
Many residents, particularly families, who are spending their weekend on the Doha Corniche, were also enticed to visit the festival.
“It is something new, this is the first time we are seeing this kind of festival. It is unique and the food is really great,” Indian national Sanjay told Gulf Times.
He finds the exhibitions, performances and tea ceremonies, as well as the lanterns and woodblock printing “very interesting.”
The festival is part of the Qatar China Year of Culture presented by Qatar Museums with the Ministry of Culture of China and the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture.
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