Chinese Consul General in New York Zhang Qiyue (R) addresses a ceremonial lighting ceremony to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year of Rooster at the Empire State Building in New York City, the United States, on Jan. 26, 2017. The top of the Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan, New York, will shine in red and gold on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27 in a salute to the Chinese Lunar New Year that starts on Jan. 28. The Empire State Building will be lit in red and gold at sunset on the two days and change every 60 seconds until the next morning, adding a touch of Chinese Festival color to the New York skyline. (Xinhua/Li Rui)
NEW YORK, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- The top of the Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan, New York, will shine in red and gold at sunset Thursday and Friday celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year that starts on Jan. 28.
The international icon of the New York skyline, the Building's tower lights will "shine in a special Chinese Lunar New Year design entitled 'universal celebration'," said John B. Kessler, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Empire State Realty Trust, at a lighting ceremony with Chinese Consul General Zhang Qiyue, in the lobby on the Fifth Avenue Thursday morning.
The lights were created by world renown lighting designer Marc Brickman in collaboration with China Central Academy of Fine arts in a salute to the Year of the Rooster which represents punctuality, trustworthiness and good luck, Kessler said.
This year's theme of "universal celebration" is well chosen, Zhang said, as the Spring Festival is now an important holiday for both Chinese, Asians and Americans.
The Chinese diplomat said that about 950.000 visitors from the Chinese mainland visited New York last year and Empire State Building is one of the must-visit NY landmarks for many of them.
The Chinese mainland has become the second largest source of foreign visitors for the city, next only to Britain, she said.
"I believe China-U.S. relations will stay healthy and strong for the benefits of the two peoples," she said.
According to its lighting calendar, the Building will be lit in red and gold at sunset Thursday and Friday, and change every 60 seconds until the next morning,
Since 1976, the Empire State Building's tower lights have maintained a tradition of changing color to recognize various occasions and organizations throughout the year. New York state has added the Spring Festival to the list of public holidays since 2014.