As the Chinese lunar calendar ushered in the Year of the Dragon on Monday, Chinese artists and cultural delegations are staging various performances around the world. An ancient civilization known for its tea, ceramics and silk, China has in recent decades attracted global attention on its newest trend in movies, fashion, art performances and language study. According to official figures, more than 500,000 foreigners have taken Chinese language courses offered by the 358 Confucius Institutes established in 105 countries and regions around the world. Meanwhile, traditional Chinese musical instrument shows and art performances are often sold out in Europe and North America, Chinese embassies said. As China becomes the second largest economy in the world, more economic resources become available to back up the cultural industry blossoming home and abroad in the past few years. Chinese culture is no longer rusty antiques on display in quiet museums around the world, or imaginative descriptions in books for foreign readers. A more lively and diverse China, with a delicate mixture of old and new, tradition and modernity, is approaching foreign audiences.