Culture, No Food At Chinese Festival

One of the Chinese lanterns on display outside the Central House of Artists.

Get up close to China as a smorgasbord of Chinese culture takes over the Central House of Artists. The Chinese Culture Festival starts Friday, although visitors can already see a dazzling display of Chinese lanterns lit up in front of the building.

The festival includes exhibitions of Chinese art, dance, fire shows, animated movies, posters, workshops and national craft displays.

One of the most eagerly awaited shows will be the kung fu display by the legendary Shaolin monks.

The first Festival of Chinese Art was organized in 2007 as part of the year of China in Russia, said festival spokesperson Anna Usova, and it has gotten bigger each year.

The festival mixes the old with the new with an exhibition of Chinese computer games and sets by Chinese DJs, such as DJ Weng Weng — considered one of the founders of Chinese electronic music — and a master class on Chinese animation.

“This year we expect more youth to visit the festival since there are many displays devoted to computer technologies and animation,” Usova said.

The grand opening on Friday will be an extravaganza based on the five elements, with laser special effects and dancing fountains.

Anyone who wants to learn how to play the ancient game of mah-jongg can get a lesson and play with others on Saturday, from noon to 7 p.m.

The only thing missing, inexplicably, is one of China’s greatest cultural gifts to the world — its cuisine. No Chinese food will be available during the festival, organizers say.

Chinese Cultural Festival runs Sept. 3 to 11. Central House of Artists. 10 Krymsky Val. Metro Park Kultury. www.china-fest.com

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