Chinese Consul General in New York Huang Ping (L) and Jean-Yves Ghazi, president of the Empire State Building Observatory, flip the switch to light a model of the building during a lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building in Manhattan, New York, the United States, on Jan. 23, 2020. The top of the landmark Empire State Building here in Manhattan will shine in red from sunset on Thursday to 2 a.m. on Friday, in celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year that falls on Saturday. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
NEW YORK, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The top of the landmark Empire State Building here in Manhattan will shine in red from sunset on Thursday to 2 a.m. on Friday, in celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year that falls on Saturday.
Chinese Consul General in New York Huang Ping, together with Jean-Yves Ghazi, president of the Empire State Building Observatory, flipped the switch to light a model of the building at 10 a.m. on Thursday in the lobby of the building.
Huang said that "the Empire State Building is an icon of New York" and "a very important place to promote the mutual understanding of the people from all over the world."
He expects the building's Chinese New Year celebration will enhance people-to-people connections between the United States and China.
About 1 million Chinese tourists visit New York City every year, and the Empire State Building is one of the must-see destinations for them, he said.
Ghazi said he and his team are proud that this lighting continues to celebrate the Chinese New Year, adding the Empire State Building has tried various ways to make it easier for Chinese visitors to get the most out of their experience.
2020 is the Year of the Rat according to the Chinese zodiac. A window display featuring rats designed by China Arts and Entertainment Group has also been installed in the building's lobby windows on the Fifth Avenue.
Soaring 1,454 feet (443 meters) above Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building has maintained a tradition of changing color to recognize various occasions and organizations since 1976.
It is for the 20th consecutive year that the landmark of Manhattan shines in honor of the Chinese New Year, which is a public holiday for schools in New York City.