The Empire State Building commenced its Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations Thursday with a ceremonial lighting ceremony and the unveiling of its Fifth Avenue Window Exhibition.
"It's an annual tradition here at the Empire State Building to celebrate the Lunar New Year in the heart of New York City. Our iconic Fifth Avenue lobby windows will feature a festive art installation to honor this year's animal, the dragon," Christina Chiu, executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for the Empire State Realty Trust, said at the lighting ceremony.
"Tonight, the Empire State Building will shine red to honor the Year of the Dragon and to welcome evolution, improvement and abundance in the year ahead," said Chiu.
Huang Ping, the Chinese consul general in New York, appreciated the Empire State Building's red lights to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year for the 24th consecutive year.
"I saw the red like a torch in the sky. It shows the willingness of the American people, the openness and the inclusiveness of the American people to embrace that diversity of culture. It strengthened the bonds and the friendship between China and the United States. That's exactly what we want at this special time, when we try to bring the most important relationship in the world back on track," said Huang.
According to the Chinese zodiac and tradition, the Year of the Dragon symbolizes courage, auspiciousness and good luck.
The Observation Wheel at the American Dream Mall in New Jersey was illuminated in red on Wednesday to commemorate the Year of the Dragon. The Manhasset Youth Dragon Dance Troupe performed at the annual Lunar New Year Lighting Ceremony that day.
Meanwhile, the One World Trade Center in New York City is scheduled to be lit in red and gold in the late afternoons and early evenings from Friday to Sunday in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year.
(With input from Xinhua)
(Cover: The Empire State Building lit up in red for the Chinese Lunar New Year, in New York, the United States, February 2. 2024.)