CHICAGO, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Citywide celebrations of the Chinese Lunar New Year continued in the U.S. city of Chicago on Saturday, with a special lantern procession and lion dance attracting hundreds of citizens.
A special event called "Lantern Celebration" was co-organized by the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC), the Chinese Fine Arts Society and Maggie Daley Park. Attendees learned how to make Chinese lanterns, watched lion dance, joined a lantern procession, and finally skated in an ice rink.
The procession started in the late afternoon with a golden lion and a silver lion leading the way, followed by hundreds of people, mostly parents and their children. A lion dance show brought the celebration to a climax, with the participants cheering and applauding.
Jason Schwartz, who joined the procession with his girlfriend, told Xinhua that it is a completely new way to understand Chinese culture and its custom of celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year.
"It of course helps increase the friendship between the two countries," echoed David Pierson, who thanked the organizers for offering colorful Chinese lanterns and providing his daughter with a beautiful traditional Chinese costume for skating.
"It's exciting to see how the City of Chicago embraces the celebration of Chinese New Year," said Julie Tiao Ma, president of the Chinese Fine Arts Society.
The AIC keeps a close relationship with China. It has organized many events to introduce Chinese culture, including celebrations of Chinese Spring Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival.
Chicago is the first U.S. city to launch Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in the name of city government, and 2019 is the sixth year for it to do so.