THE Fiji Chinese community celebrated the Chinese Lunar New year in Suva on Thursday.
Chinese ambassador Huang Yong said the spring festival was a symbol of China's tradition and origins as an agricultural society.
He said it was a time for peasants to spend lavishly on children and meat food with frugal savings earned over the past year.
It was also a time to pay tribute to ancestors, the time for family reunions and a respite before the sowing season, said Mr Yong.
"We celebrate this festival because spring is the season for new life and new hope, and for people to pray for the well being of families, a good harvest and peace in the coming year," Mr Yong said.
"Harmony, humility and peace are deeply rooted values in the Chinese culture. It is every Chinese's aspiration that the world should be harmonious and accommodating as they believe in harmony between nature and man.
"The Chinese people have also learnt important lessons from their long history of agricultural activity, the more ploughing and weeding, the better the crop." He said their Chinese ancestors who came to Fiji 140 years ago were fortunate because Fiji was open, inclusive and accommodating as of today.