The official date of the Chinese New Year 2020 is Saturday 25 January: for the next two weeks (until the final lantern event), the festival will be celebrated around the world with a slew of events. The festival is equivalent to the western tradition of Christmas holidays, but its date shifts in accordance with the traditional lunar calendar and runs in accordance with Chinese astrology, where every lunar year corresponds to a zodiac sign, 2020 being the year of the Rat. In Prato, in addition to the traditional parades organized by the Buddhist Association of the Chinese Community in Italy, which are scheduled for February 1 and 2, there are events and initiatives organized by various associations across the region, held under the patronage of the Municipality of Prato. The associations involved in the Chinese New Year 2020 calendar are Dryphoto Contemporary art, Travel and Discoveries, Chì-Na, Circolo Curiel and Punto Luce–Save the Children Prato.
On Friday 31 January at 9.15pm, at the Pecci Center in Prato, the first documentary on the game of Mah Jong in Italy, the result of an Italian-Chinese co-production, will debut in the presence of the cast and director Giancarlo Lamattina, better known as 'The Dragon of Romagna'. The film offers a singular look at the cultural hybridization between China and Italy by focusing on one of the oldest games in the world as played out in Ravenna.
The traditional Dragon Parade will take place on Saturday 1 February. Departure will be at 9.00am and again at 1pm from via Toscana and the Tavolo Industrial Zone, to Macrolotto. The Tombola del Dragone will be held again at 3:30pm at the Circolo E. Curiel in via Filzi, 39.
On Sunday, February 2 from 9.30 am Chinese tea and pastry takes place at Breakfast at Chì-Na, in Via Pistoiese, 138. From 9.30am an event for children will take place in the Punto Luce space in via Mameli at Macrolotto Zero, offering educational and recreational workshops, music and theater and motor activities.
At 9.00am the parade of the Dragon will leave from the Buddhist temple in piazza della Gualchierina, reaching piazza del Comune at 11.30. After the parade of the Dragon and a concluding procession of monks, there will be another dance performance followed by a Tai Chi demonstration from the schools of Taiji QUAN Toscana Chen, Albiani and Tai Chi Prato school Fe.I.K.
Following the route of the show, you will find the installations of the artist Ai Teng curated by Dryphoto Arte Comtemporanea. Teng elected to fill the walls of Via Pistoiese with 716 'nianhua' prints made entirely by hand, using the individual woodcut method. He produced them in his homeland of Shandong, in the city of Zibo located in the Yangjiabu district, he made these beautiful pieces with wood and water. According to tradition, each print represents a wish for the new year. People can pick them up and take them home as a gift.
In addition, from 2.30 pm in the Dryphoto headquarters in Via Delle Segherie, 33a, three videos made by the Zi De Guqin Studio, a group formed by young Chinese musicians born in the 80s and 90s, will be shown. The videos will be a rediscovery of ancient Chinese music. The day will end at 6pm with a selection of Italian and Chinese food and drink.
The 'Travel and Discoveries' agency will organize free guided tours of the Pu Hua Si Buddhist Temple, taking place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 February from 3pm (Reservation required: 3450455549).