The Countdown to Chinese New Year was staged at the Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade where Citizens gathered to enjoy the Second Chinese Festival of Lights together on Friday with the Serbian Government and Embassy Officials.

The light exhibition, due to last until February 16, brings for the Second time in Serbia, now both in Cities of Belgrade and Novi Sad, a Fairytale world of colourful flowers, flamingos, chariot horseman, Chinese dragons, lanterns and other light sculptures.

The Festival of Lights was opened just minutes before the Year of the Rat was welcomed in Beijing, by Serbia’s Minister of Mining & Energy Aleksandar Antic, Minister of Culture and the Media Vladan Vukosavljevic, Mayor of Belgrade Zoran Radojicic and Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Chen Bo.

Antic, who is also Serbia’s national coordinator for the Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European wished prosperity, success and family happiness to Chinese people and leadership, announcing new impulses in the development of the ties between the two countries.

Vukosavljevic praised the friendship and exchange of experiences between Serbia and China, that came, as a result, the cooperation within the Belt & Road Initiative.

He wished prosperous years ahead to Chinese people, in their homeland, worldwide, as well as those who live, work or come to visit Serbia.

Ambassador Chen said that the celebration of the Spring Festival in Serbia helped the Chinese people here to feel like home, and reminded that economies of both countries had a prosperous year, while countries advanced bilateral ties further.

“The friendship of steel between our two countries is getting stronger with time,” she said, wishing the prosperous Year of the Rat to everyone.

The arrival of the Chinese Lunar Year was marked by fireworks the moment when Beijing was 12: 00 a.m. midnight.