THE Year of the Snake preceded the new Chinese calendar this week with the Chinese community in the Western Division marking the occasion with song, dance and food at celebrations in Lautoka on Tuesday night.
Dignitaries from in and around the region, including the Commissioner Western, Commander Joeli Cawaki and the Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, Huang Yong, joined the Chinese community at the Khatriya Hall to witness the traditional lion dance and other cultural items.
Speaking of the influence of the Chinese community in Fiji, Mr Huang said his people had come a long way in establishing themselves as an integral part of the Fijian community.
"The President of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, spoke highly of the contribution the Chinese community has made to the economic and social development of Fiji," he said.
He said the Spring Festival was the most important traditional festival in the Chinese culture.