Over 1,000 people walk along the canal in prayer for good luck during the coming year
HANGZHOU, China, Jan. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The event hosted by the city of Hangzhou wishes the world the best of luck as we enter the new year. The China (Hangzhou) Walk and Prayer for Good Luck in the New Year 2019 and 13th Gongshu District Walk and Blessing Event (the "Event") was held at Grand Canal World (Yunhe Tiandi) on January 1, 2019.
Several of China's most noted community, arts and entertainment leaders in their roles as cultural leaders headed up the twin events, in Hangzhou's Central Business and Gongshu districts
The festive New Year's atmosphere at Grand Canal World provided the right backdrop with a lineup of traditional cultural performances, among them, martial arts demonstrations and the bass drum and lion dance, as the participants who has gathered there prayed for good luck for their families and the greater prosperity of China and the world. Ten well-known celebrities took part in the event in their role as cultural ambassadors, among them, traditional Shaoxing opera actress Cai Zhefei, novelist, poet and screenwriter Huang Yazhou, photography artist Chen Wei, village headman with the distinction as one of Zhejiang Province's 1,000 most notable new-generation community leaders Huang Anting, Hangzhou Miluo Technology Co Ltd CEO Liu Qiong and Binjiang Public Security Sub-bureau (Higher Education District) head of census records Huang Xiaosu. The ten ambassadors, from a wide variety of backgrounds, are recognized as outstanding figures in their respective professions for their hard work and dedication.
The China (Hangzhou) Walk and Prayer for Good Luck in the New Year 2019 is the first event held in both Hangzhou's Central Business and Gongshu districts. Led by the ambassadors, participants of the Event walked along the Grand Canal in prayer for good luck as we enter the new year and to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
The Event is of great significance as it is represents a good luck prayer for the nation
At 9 am on January 1, the opening ceremony of the Event was grandly held with Hangzhou vice mayor Wang Hong delivering the welcome speech. 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of New China and the fifth anniversary of the designation of the Grand Canal as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The walking and prayer event was held in response to the country's call for the construction of the Grand Canal Cultural Belt, the transformation of the Grand Canal into a symbol of national culture, the promotion of Hangzhou as an international gateway city and the boosting of the development of the canal ecosystem. The event began with the ambassadors who each wore a red scarf while sending the first New Year wishes to the nation on stage together with the audience, followed by Chen Wei, one of the ambassadors, penning a few Chinese characters that signify "good luck to the nation" with bold and vigorous strokes.
As a highlight of the opening ceremony, the donation ceremony was the segment that received the widest acclaim among the local populace. In line with Xiaoshan District's field survey of millions of villagers, the organizers supported the local government in its efforts to help less fortunate villages and promote support for public welfare actions by donating the signup fee income from the event to charitable causes. The event was meant to share the love with more people as naturally as the Grand Canal follows its course. In addition, the opening ceremony included the "Good Luck First-day Cover" ceremony at which Hangzhou vice mayor Liao Chengchao announced the launch of the walking and prayer event. After the unveiling of the event by the delegation of local government officials in tandem with the cultural ambassadors, a lion dance was performed. This was followed by over 1,000 people walking along the Grand Canal in prayer for good luck for the coming New Year.
Praying for good luck while walking along two elaborately designed routes
The Event featured both an overland route as well as a waterborne one, both of which passed through a number of landmarks and well-known neighborhoods in Gongshu District, including Canal Paradise Cultural and Creative Park and the Qiaoxi, Dadoulu and Xiaohe historic conservation areas, with the end point for the walk at Canal Paradise. Booths were set up at 11 designated points along the two routes where participants could sign up for a handwriting event held at the Hangzhou Arts and Crafts Museum. By accessing the official account "The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal Virtual Tour" on WeChat, participants who visited any of the sites could take part in the handwriting event at which they wrote the Chinese character Fu and received a medal and a certificate once they had reached the finishing point. This year's event highlighted the newly-added waterborne route. The participants first completed the 3.99-kilometer journey to the destination aboard a large quaint ship and returned on foot, in all a 6.88-kilometer journey, celebrating the coming of the New Year in a most unique fashion.
The walking and prayer event is not only a unique expression of asking for good luck but also a classic brand event designed to promote public fitness. Under the guidance of the Hangzhou Organizing Committee for the 2022 Asian Games, the event was hosted by the Hangzhou Municipal People's Government and co-organized by Hangzhou Canal Group, Hangzhou Gongshu District Government, the Hangzhou Tourism Committee, the Coordinating Office of Conference & Exhibition Industry Development, Hangzhou and the Hangzhou Bureau for Gardens and Cultural Relics (Council for Comprehensive Protection of Grand Canal), with the Athletic Association of Zhejiang Sports Bureau, Hangzhou Canal Group Cultural Tourism Co., Ltd. and the Gongshu District Bureau of Culture, Broadcasting, Television, Press and Publication (Gongshu District Sports Bureau) as sponsors.
The Event is not only an addition to the New Year celebrations held in the city but also serves as an initial welcome to the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, reflecting the common wish of the people of Hangzhou to share in the good luck and work together to see the dreams of the nation, and, by extent, the world, come to fruition.
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