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Lanterns to glow on Staten Island

By KONG WENZHENG in New York | China Daily USA | Updated: 2018-11-21 23:41

Colorful lanterns are must-have festival decorations during China's holiday season. This year, New Yorkers will get a glimpse of the traditional artworks through an exhibition on Staten Island starting Nov 28.

Produced by New York Events & Entertainment and Haitian Culture, the Winter Lantern Festival is the first of its kind in the city. It's also a signature event for the China National Tourist Office.

"I think of the NYC Winter Lantern Festival as an immersive, creative and unique display of lights and art," said Conglin Mao, a festival producer who called it "an awe-inspiring place for everyone to enjoy".

The festival will feature more than 40 LED installations, some 30 feet high.

Comprising seven categories — light tunnel, wonderland, sea world, animal kingdom, Chinese lights, panda paradise and holiday zone — the lights were assembled by more than 200 crafters.

With a great variety of colors and forms, the lanterns will illuminate seven acres of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden.

"Visitors will have the chance to explore our grounds in a completely different light — literally," said Aileen Funchs, Snug Harbor president and CEO.

Originating thousands of years ago during the Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 220), lanterns are part of China's cultural legacy. The installation of large lanterns is also a common practice in China, especially during the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the first lunar month.

For the New York adaptation, the lanterns will include a 150-foot-long dragon, a traditional-style Chinese building, pandas, flamingoes and an elf.

All of them will rise not far from another site that showcases traditional Chinese culture — the New York Chinese Scholar's Garden at the Snug Harbor center.

The festival also will showcase traditional dances and arts, including a martial arts show, lion dance and face-changing.

"I wanted to take a classic Chinese tradition and transform it into an unforgettable event in the United States," Miao said.

The festival will run for six weeks until Jan 6.

Contact the writer at nancykong@chinadailyusa.com

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