An exhibition 'Happy Celebration of the Chinese New Year' is open in the main building of St Petersburg University, featuring more than 30 works by renowned Chinese photographers. The exhibition reflects the unique and diverse cultural heritage of contemporary China.

The exhibition is on display at the Gallery of the Twelve Collegia Building and will be open until 18 February 2022.

Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs at St Petersburg University, made a welcoming speech at the opening of the exhibition. He reminded that St Petersburg University demonstrates positive dynamics in the area of studying China. For example, academic programmes with a Chinese component are consistently opened: over the past six years their number has increased fivefold. At present, the University is implementing more than 60 such programmes:

Jurisprudence (with an In-Depth Study of the Chinese Language and Legal System)Economics (with advanced study of the Economy of China and the Chinese language)Organisation of Tourist Activities (with Advanced Study of the Chinese Language)  and many others. About 1,500 university students study Chinese, and over 80,000 people are currently enrolled in the University online course on the Chinese language . At the same time, the interest of Chinese citizens in Russia is also growing: for example, in the last five years the number of Chinese students at the University has increased fivefold, reaching 2,000 people.

In my opinion, this exhibition of famous Chinese photographers is yet another confirmation of how much attention is being paid today to Chinese culture and the study of the Chinese language and Chinese society in Russia, and in particular at St Petersburg University.

Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs

Hue Fan, Associate Professor at Capital Normal University, curates the exhibition ‘Happy Celebration of the Chinese New Year’. At the opening of the exhibition, she said that on 1 February (which is the day the Chinese New Year is celebrated in 2022) the red lights will be lit on the Palace Bridge in St Petersburg.

The photo exhibition is organised by St Petersburg University in cooperation with the Association of Chinese Folklore Photographers and supported by the Centre for Language Education and Cooperation under the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China.

'Every time I see the red lights on the Palace Bridge, I feel great excitement and joy as I feel how much the Russian people respect China and I see them pay their homage to China,' shared Hue Fan.

Kirill Babaev, Acting Director of the Institute of Far Eastern of the Russian Academy of Sciences, welcomed the attendees to the opening of the exhibition. 'Staff at our institute say that there is the European New Year (1 January), the Russian New Year (13 January) and the most important New Year – the one we celebrate this year on 1 February. We are all witnessing how Russian-Chinese relations are growing and developing. And may this exhibition become one of the symbols of the growing partnership and friendship between our peoples!' he said.

Dmitrii Maiatskii, Associate Professor in the Department of Chinese Philology at St Petersburg University, briefly described the contents of the exhibition.

This exhibition will show Russian citizens how the Chinese people celebrate their major holiday in their country.

Dmitrii Maiatskii, Associate Professor in the Department of Chinese Philology at St Petersburg University

'In the photos, we can see a variety of scenes that immerse us in Chinese life: how Chinese people prepare for the New Year, make dumplings, get together and celebrate the New Year; what they sell in the streets; and what festivals are arranged. These activities are surrounded by a lot of very important symbols, and one of the most striking symbols of the year that will be coming up on 1 February is the black water tiger. The tiger is considered to be a symbol of strength and health in China. It is friendly, fair-minded and helpful. So, taking the opportunity, I would like to wish the Chinese and Russian people that the tiger sends us strength, health, patience – the best that this kind animal can bring in the new year,' summed up Dmitrii Maitskii.

Note that the exhibition opened at St Petersburg University consists of photographs depicting different China's key holidays and traditions. Among them are: the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year); the Lantern Festival; the Spring Dragon Festival; the Qingming Festival (Tomb-Sweeping Day); the Dragon Boat Festival; and the Mid-Autumn Festival.