NY lights up for Lunar New Year

Updated: 2016-02-08 12:21

By Hezi Jiang in New York(China Daily USA)

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The Lunar New Year lit up the Big Apple.

On the single day of Feb 6 - two days ahead of Chinese New Year - three events featuring Peking Opera, Chinese folk dance, visual arts and fireworks unfolded in New York to welcome the Year of the Monkey. A holiday atmosphere spread over Times Square, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and the Hudson River.

A flash mob of nearly 100 young performers broke out at the Crossroads of the World. Inspired by the Chinese novel Journey to the West, the group treated New Yorkers and tourists to a Monkey King-themed Peking Opera.

Zhang Qiyue, Chinese consul general in New York, along with Deputy Consul General Zhang Meifang and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams showed up at the event wishing everyone a happy Chinese New Year.

"The coming Year of the Monkey is very special to us because it is the first time New Year City public school students will have a day off for the holiday," Zhang said.

"Having a creative flash mob performance here at Times Square not only brings our holiday spirit to New York residents, but also promotes the Chinese culture to the world," she told the Chinese media.

Fantastic Art China, a 72,000-square-foot exhibition at the Javits center, opened in the afternoon on the same day.

The China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing, in conjunction with the US-China Cultural Institute, brought the art of China to New York.

"We transported a thousand contemporary artworks from China to here," Yu Ding, chief curator of the show, told China Daily earlier in the week. "Nobody has ever done it before. Plus, the hundreds of artworks we collected from contemporary artists here in the US; we are bringing a grand show."

Works on display include large-scale public arts, paintings, photography, interactive arts, fashion design, urban design and more.

NY lights up for Lunar New Year

"We believe people can learn about China through art," said Kay Gayner, head of the China Project at National Dance Institute in New York, whose 60 students from 42 public schools performed three Chinese dances during the opening ceremony at Javits Center.

The monkey dance was choregraphed by Gayner and well-known Chinese dancer Huang Doudou, and Kay remembered Huang told her, "If you combine some of your movements with some of Doudou's movements, then we have a monkey dance for the world."

The art exhibition, which is free to public, will go on until Wednesday.

On the evening of Feb 6, thousands of people gathered along the Hudson River in New York and New Jersey to watch the fireworks designed by CAFA students. It was presented with music composed by Academy Award- and Grammy Award-winner Tan Dun.

Waving Chinese and American flags and holding cameras in the air, the audience cheered as fireworks illuminated the river. Fireworks of smiley faces, waterfalls and flowers blossomed in the sky.

"Happy New Year," they shouted as the last firework disappeared in the dark. The Year of the Monkey starts on Monday.