(Xinhua) -- The Sun Festival of Abu Simbel temple in
southern Egypt this year has brought Chinese festivity to the
ancient land of Nubians, as Chinese puppetry show has joined the
international celebration event for the first time.
The Sun Festival, which attracted
thousands of visitors worldwide to participate in the event on
Feb. 22, this year also coincided with the Chinese Spring
Festival celebration week.
Built by King Ramses II, the statues
of the king and the sun god remain in darkness inside the Abu
Simbel temple throughout the year except on Feb. 22 and Oct. 22,
when the sunlight showers on the statues to commemorate the
king’s coronation and birthday.
This year, the Aswan art festival is
joined by folklore performances from Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya,
Algeria, China, India and Thailand besides Egyptian local
Chen Yinghong, head of the Chinese
puppetry troupe, told Xinhua that they had staged eight
performances in various places in Aswan with three special
“I was afraid in the beginning that
Egyptian audience might not understand the Chinese puppet
show due to cultural differences, but after the warm
response from the opening ceremony, I was assured,” said
On the closing ceremony in front of
the ancient Abu Simbel temples, the Chinese puppetry troupe
performed the stunt of changing puppet clothing in less than a
second that marveled local audience and tourists.
Ahmed Aboabudula, a local audience
took video and pictures of the puppet show and said, “everybody
laughed and clapped, we like the puppet show, it is very nice.”
Chen, who came to Egypt in 2001 when
he was often recognized as Japanese tourist, said that this
time, he met many Egyptians who greeted him with simple Chinese.
“This reflects the increasing number
of Chinese visitors to Egypt and the expanding tourism
exchanges between our two countries,” said Chen.
In 2017, China has become the 4th
largest tourists’ source for Egypt and the number of Chinese
travellers to Egypt is rising fast.
Local tour operator told Xinhua that
direct flights from China to Abu Simbel, which started several
months ago, bring several hundreds of Chinese tourists every day
to southern Egypt. The number of tourists accounts for nearly a
quarter thousand visits per day in average.
Shi Yuewen, Cultural Councilor of the
Chinese Embassy in Cairo, told Xinhua that with growing economic
and cultural ties between China and Egypt, he decided to make a
change to the traditional Chinese lunar New Year celebrations in
Egypt which used to include performances and food and handcraft
stalls in the Azhar Park in Cairo.
Instead, he sent performance groups
from China out of Cairo to Aswan and Egypt’s red sea resort town
of Sharm el Sheik to add a taste of Chinese festivity to the
world-renowned Egyptian attractions and festivals while lighted
the Cairo tower in red for the first time on the eve of Chinese
Dragon boat competition on Nile and
Chinese martial art competition will also be held in Cairo
besides the Chinese food week in luxury hotels as part of the
new Chinese Spring Festival celebration program this year, Shi