KIEV, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- A gala celebrating the upcoming Spring Festival -- the Chinese Lunar New Year -- in Kiev Thursday gave the audience a vivid glimpse of China's rich culture and traditions.
The event, "Joyful Spring Festival", was sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Culture, the Chinese embassy in Ukraine, and Ukrainian organizations.
At the National Opera House of Ukraine, a troupe from Zhangjiajie, a city in central China, showed Ukrainians the cultural heritage of their region, including unique marriage and religious customs and art.
The Maogusi dance they performed, for example, originated from the sacrificial rituals of an ancient ethnic group called the Tujia. Some of the songs came from another ethnic community, the Miaos, celebrating the harvest, while an impressive dance with knives was the traditional dance of Basha, a border village famed as being the home of China's last tribe allowed to have arms.
A highlight of the event was a Chinese singer singing a Ukrainian folk song, "The Moon in the Sky", making the applauding audience ask for encores repeatedly.
"We were especially impressed that the (artist) showed respect for us by singing the Ukrainian song. It was amazing," said Dmitry Shikhnenko, a Ukrainian businessman, who attended the gala.
"After the concert, the Chinese culture has become closer to me personally. I understood how the People's Republic of China is developing, what we should strive for," Shikhnenko told Xinhua.
Well-known Ukrainian fashion designer Lilia Kukharchuk said the concert had inspired her to create a collection of clothes with Chinese ethnic elements.
"I was really impressed by the colorful costumes... amazed by the combination of bright colors that is impossible to see in ordinary life. It was a sea of jewelry and spangles!" Kukharchuk said.
The Chinese ambassador to Ukraine, Du Wei, and Ukrainian government representatives attended the event.
Ukraine's First Deputy Culture Minister Svitlana Fomenko said the concert was very important for cementing ties between China and Ukraine.