Folk artists performed lion and dragon dances in Cambodia on Monday to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival, which falls on Tuesday.

The dancers from four different troupes jointly performed at the Royal Palace and the Chinese Embassy here.

At the palace, they were greeted by Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Royal Palace Minister Kong Sam Ol, while at the embassy, they were received by Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian.

Spring Festival was the most important festival in China.

“May the Year of the Pig bring good health, luck and fortune as well as new success to the Chinese people, Cambodians of Chinese descent and all Cambodian people,” Ambassador Wang said.

He is strongly confident that the ties and cooperation between China and Cambodia would be further deepened in the new year, particularly under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Lion dance is usually invited by traditional Chinese families to perform as a symbolic ritual to usher in the Spring Festival and ward off bad luck and evil spirits.

The Chinese New Year is broadly celebrated in Cambodia, though it is not a public holiday.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen last week sent best wishes to the people on the occasion and said the country celebrates three New Year festivals a year, the Universal New Year, the Chinese New Year and the Cambodian New Year.

“Nowadays, there are more and more Cambodians of Chinese descent,” Hun Sen said.

“When the nation has full peace, people have freedom to choose religious beliefs and celebrate festivals according to their traditions,” Hun Sen said.