It was a delicious and eclectic mix of the food and culture of Beijing with that of Bridgetown at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium last Saturday, as the Fish and Dragon Festival came to an impressive end.
Hundreds took part in the spectacular show, which featured some of the best that China has to offer. From a variety of Chinese teas, to a number of culinary delights, there was more than enough food and drink to go around.
Patrons were also exposed to a variety of Chinese services, from massage therapy to calligraphy. They also got the chance to purchase some authentic Chinese garments, and for those eager to speak the language and to learn even more about the Asian culture, there was lots of literature to be had.
Several Barbadian delicacies, as well as locally made artwork and jewellry were also on display.
And what is a local festival without an infusion of the tuk band?
Members of the Barbados road tennis and table tennis fraternity were also on hand for some LIVE demonstrations.
However, one the highlights of the four-hour festival, which ran from 4p.m. until 8 p.m., was the martial arts display by members of the Barbados Academy of Martial Arts, who showed off their expertise in Tai Chi and self defence.
The audience was simply in awe following their demonstration of their professional brick and wood breaking skills. But it was a beautiful and captivating performance of acrobatics and dancing by the Tianjin Art Troupe that proved most mesmerizing on the evening.
This was the first year that the annual festival, which is in its fourth year, was held at the Gymnasium and also the first time new Chinese envoy to Barbados Yan Xiusheng was in attendance.
He was simply blown over by the warm reception by Barbadians to the festival, which was previously held at the Church Village Green in the City, but was relocated this year because of a clash with Agrofest.
“Barbados’ people are very interested in Chinese culture so that means the two countries, their friendship is getting stronger and stronger. The people to people exchange is very important,” Ambassador Yan told Barbados TODAY.
“I am happy to see Barbadians come to celebrate Chinese New Year with us and Chinese culture,” he added.