Spotlight: Cities worldwide celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-16 15:18:01|Editor: Liangyu
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A Chinese artist performs Sichuan opera face changing during a lighting ceremony at the Cairo Tower in Cairo, Egypt, on Feb. 15, 2018. The Cairo Tower is lit in red to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year here on Thursday. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

BEIJING, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- As the Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, fell on Friday this year, celebration of the most important holiday in China is taking place in countries worldwide.

According to the latest release of China's State Council Information Office, the Chinese New Year was celebrated in more than 400 cities in more than 130 countries and regions this year.

In the U.S. city of New York, spectacular fireworks lit up the night sky over the Hudson River on Wednesday as part of the Lunar New Year celebrations.

In mostly red and gold, the two major auspicious traditional Chinese colors, the fireworks display, themed "Happy Spring Festival," created images representing Chinese cultural elements, like the dog, one of the 12 traditional zodiac signs, and the Chinese knot.

Prior to the display, Zhang Qiyue, Chinese consul general in New York, hosted a celebratory gala for 300-odd local celebrities and officials.

Designed by China's Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), the display was executed by Fireworks by Grucci, a New York-based fireworks company.

"It (was) fantastic, especially on Valentine's Day," Scott C. Cooper, director of business development at Fireworks by Grucci, told Xinhua.

New York State added the Spring Festival to its list of public holidays in 2014.

The festive atmosphere was in full bloom on Wednesday in the almost millennium-old Ukrainian city of Lviv, which has hosted the Lunar New Year for the seventh year in a row.

The gothic and baroque buildings of Lviv and even its alleyways were decorated with red lanterns and colorful paintings with Chinese characters.

About 40 pavilions with Chinese and Ukrainian food were installed on Ploshcha Rynok, the central square of Lviv, with people crowding around a pavilion with dumplings.

Chinese food, dragon dancing, a laser show, Chinese karaoke, a Kung Fu show and Spring-themed gala attracted thousands of tourists to Lviv.

In the city of Yangon in Myanmar, a grand lion and dragon dance performed by more than two dozen groups of ethnic Chinese in Myanmar kicked off New Year celebrations on Thursday.

With large traditional drums and colorful festive flags, the procession around Chinatown, organized by a local dance group, attracted thousands of spectators.

During following events, Chinese traditional handicrafts and cultural objects will be showcased at booths lined up on the Maha Bandoola Street, the main road of the Chinatown which is lit by more than 6,000 traditional red lanterns with festive decorations including some archways erected in the main junctions of the road.

In the Egyptian tourist city of Sharm el-Sheikh, the walls and trees at Hollywood Fun Park in the Red Sea resort city were garnished with red Chinese lanterns and colorful Chinese paintings to embrace a three-day celebration.

Amid a joyful atmosphere of a moonlit breezy night, hundreds of Egyptians joined Chinese to watch traditional lion dance performances in the alleyways of the tourist site to celebrate the biggest festival among Chinese people.

As artists performed on stage, Chinese organizers distributed gifts to members of the audience, who hailed from a variety of nationalities.

In the New Zealand city of Auckland, the Sky Tower also joined other landmarks lit for Chinese New Year. The tallest man-made structure in the country is scheduled to be lit with a gold-color base and red top until March 4.

(Xinhua reporters Gao Wencheng, Yang Shilong, Zhou Saang, Ahmed Shafiq, Wang Zichen, Alona, Yangon contributed to the story.)

KEY WORDS: Lunar New Year