NEW YORK, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- A lantern festival featuring Chinese art and culture kicked off Wednesday night here, offering local people one more dazzling entertainment destination during the holiday season.
The first-ever New York City Winter Lantern Festival lights up a seven-acre area of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden in the city's Staten Island borough, with 40 lantern-assembled LED installations.
Categorized into five sections -- Holiday Zone, Light Tunnel, Animal Kingdom, Panda Paradise and Traditional Chinese Lights -- the over 3,000 lanterns were handmade by some 200 workers in southwest China's Sichuan Province within 40 days, and shipped to New York in 19 containers.
"Visitors will have the chance to explore our grounds in a completely different light, literally," said Aileen Fuchs, Snug Harbor president and CEO.
Lighting up lanterns is a Chinese holiday tradition dating back more than 1,800 years. The Chinese Lantern Festival is celebrated every year in winter and often concludes the celebrations of the Spring Festival, or the lunar new year.
Besides the spectacular light display, the ongoing festival also features a traditional lion dance, water sleeve dancing, face changing, martial arts, and other live performances.
Co-organized by New York Events & Entertainment and Haitian Culture, the festival is a flagship event of the China National Tourist Office in New York. The festival will run for six weeks till Jan. 6, 2019.