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Britons get early taste of Spring Festival

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-04 11:10
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LONDON, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, is still a week away, but Britons have been feeling the atmosphere here recently by tasting traditional Chinese cuisine and enjoying various celebration activities.

On Saturday, the National Maritime Museum staged wonderful Lunar New Year celebrations, including lion dances, tea tasting ceremony, Lunar New Year storytelling, mahjong playing and more. A similar celebration was held at the British Science Museum on Thursday night.

During a Chinese cuisine tasting event held at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel in London on Friday, four master chefs from Shenzhen Culinary Association introduced the characteristics of Cantonese Cuisine, explained the cooking methods, and invited guests to prepare and taste the traditional Chinese Year's Eve dinner.

Cantonese Roasted Char Siu, Chilled Yellow Croaker, Salt and Pepper Tender Tofu...dishes prepared for the tasting event were from three main Cantonese Cuisine streams.

According to Liu YongZhong, chairman of the Shenzhen Culinary Association, during their stay in London, Shenzhen chefs exchanged ideas and skills with their British counterparts, and tried to use the local ingredients to make Cantonese Cuisine, such as choosing Scottish lamb meat to cook the dish called Fried Rice Cake with Lamb Meat.

The tasting event was part of the "A Bite of China" 2024 program. As an important sub-brand of the "Happy Chinese New Year" global events, "A Bite of China" aims to promote Chinese culinary cultures internationally. Since its launch in 2016, it has been successfully held in more than 20 countries, becoming a significant platform to help local people deepen their understanding of Chinese culture.

"Guangdong has been staying at the forefront of China's reform and opening up drive, and Cantonese Cuisine, during its development, blended with other cuisines, including some Western cooking. Therefore, this tasting event is also a platform of mutual learning between Eastern and Western civilizations," said Li Liyan, minister counselor for cultural affairs of the Chinese Embassy in the UK.

Master chefs from Shenzhen will also give a Cantonese Cuisine cooking class at the City of Bristol College next Monday, and bring the New Year's Eve dinner to Bristol, a south-west England city. Culinary students of the college will closely observe the cooking techniques of the Chinese chefs, serve as assistant chefs to prepare the dishes, taste Chinese New Year food, and share their cooking experience with master chefs.

The Chinese New Year falls on Feb. 10 this year. From Jan. 29 to Feb. 12, 50 iconic red London buses featuring the "Nihao China" national tourism image, the Happy Chinese New Year logo, and the auspicious Chinese dragon image, pass through London landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and St. Paul's Cathedral, bringing Spring Festival blessings to residents and visitors around the world.

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