Chinese Spring Festival
GUO Haiyan, China’s Ambassador to Guyana
GUO Haiyan, China’s Ambassador to Guyana

…the New Year of the Rabbit

By GUO Haiyan
China’s Ambassador to Guyana
TODAY marks the Chinese Spring Festival in the Year of the Rabbit. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I’d like to take this opportunity to extend our warmest greetings and wishes to all Chinese compatriots and Guyanese friends.

Spring Festival, the Chinese Lunar New Year, is the most important traditional festival in China, with a history of more than 4,000 years. The Spring Festival culture is an important part of the Chinese culture. The year of 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, a beloved animal ranking fourth in the Chinese zodiac. It is a common species but with rich cultural connotation. In terms of appearance, the rabbit is meek, cute, innocent and lively, which means that the new year would be peaceful and auspicious. In terms of skills, the rabbit is good at jumping, which means overcoming difficulties and surpassing oneself.

In ancient Chinese legends, there is a rabbit on the moon, which is pounding herbal medicine into magical elixir with its mortar and pestle, so the rabbit also signifies health and longevity.

Spring Festival is no stranger to Guyanese friends. Since last Christmas, some of my Guyanese friends have frequently talked about Spring Festival, especially the Chinese New Year’s Eve traditions. This year marks the 170th anniversary of Chinese Arrival in Guyana. The Chinese community has integrated deeply into the local society, and together they have contributed to Guyana’s national independence and development. And the Chinese culture, represented by Spring Festival activities, has been integrated into the Guyanese multiculture as well.

Recently, the Chinese community held the Guyana 2023 Chinese Spring Festival Temple Fair in the National Park, Georgetown, where more than 2,000 friends from all walks of life, including the Hon Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, joined the celebrations. Many Guyanese friends, dressed in Chinese costumes and holding folding fans, gathered to witness various displays of Chinese culture including food, song, lion and dragon dances and fireworks show.

Spring Festival is a time for family reunion. No matter how busy they are and where they are, Chinese people would try their best to get home and have dinner with their families during the New Year’s Eve. Children wish their elders good health, and the elders give red envelops to them. Everybody says “Happy New Year” to relatives, neighbours and friends, and even to strangers they meet on the road. The Chinese people value family, respect traditions, and cherish harmony. We share the same values as our Guyanese friends.

Spring Festival is the time to celebrate the harvest. In 2022, China successfully convened the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). An ambitious blueprint has been drawn for building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization.

China has coordinated the COVID-19 response and socio-economic development, and its GDP grew 3% to a record high of about 18 trillion USD in 2022. In addition, The Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games concluded with a resounding success. Shenzhou-13, Shenzhou-14 and Shenzhou-15 soared into the space. China’s space station was fully completed, and the third aircraft carrier Fujian was launched. C919, China’s first large passenger aircraft, was delivered.

Last year, Guyana’s economy grew by a whopping 62.3%, making it the fastest-growing economy in the world, and Guyana has made significant progress in economic and social transformation. We are sincerely pleased with both countries’ achievements in the past year.

In 2022, China and Guyana jointly celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations too. President Xi Jinping and President Ali exchanged letters of congratulation. The Chinese Embassy hosted a celebratory reception, a Chinese film festival and many other events. The Guyanese side issued commemorative stamps, coins, and made a special rum. There have been new developments in bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields has been further strengthened.

Spring Festival is a time to look forward to the future. Guyana just unveiled its 2023 Budget under the theme, “Improving Lives today, Building Prosperity for Tomorrow.”

Our Guyanese friends are full of confidence and aspirations to strive for a better future. For China, 2023 will be the first year to fully implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and the start of a new journey to build a modern socialist country in all respects, as well as the 45th anniversary of reform and opening up and the 10th anniversary of Belt and Road initiative.

As China enters a new phase of COVID response, its economic and social vitality will be further released. China will continue to be the “stabilizer” of world economic recovery and the “engine” of global growth, and continue to provide new opportunities for the world with its new development.

I wish both China and Guyana enjoy peace and prosperity?our bilateral relations and cooperation step up to new levels, and you all good health, happiness and success in the new year!


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