New York landmarks glow red to celebrate Chinese New Year – Xinhua

Huang Ping (L), Chinese Consul General in New York, and Tony Malkin (C), Chairman, President and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust, jointly inaugurate the Empire State Building Illumination Ceremony in New York, USA. on Jan. 20, 2023. (Photo by Winston Zhou/Xinhua)

“The Spring Festival is a moment when we switch from one zodiac to another. We are still in the year of the tiger. This year is very important…because this year marks the 50th anniversary of China-US renegotiation,” said Huang Ping, Chinese Consul General in New York.

NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) — Well-known landmarks in New York City were lit up in red in celebration of the Chinese New Year, which falls on Jan. 22 this year.

The Empire State Building kicked off its Lunar New Year celebrations Friday morning with the celebratory lighting and unveiling of its Fifth Avenue Window Exhibition.

“We are very pleased to extend our heartfelt New Year’s wishes to the entire Chinese community here in the United States, around the world and especially in China,” said Tony Malkin, Chairman, President and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust at the ceremony.

“This is a very special Lunar New Year lighting ceremony as it is the first we have been able to hold in person in three years,” added Malkin.

A woman looks at an installation at the Spring Festival Window Exhibition in the lobby of the Empire State Building on January 20, 2023 in New York, United States. (Photo by Winston Zhou/Xinhua)

“The Spring Festival is a moment when we switch from one zodiac to another. We are still in the year of the tiger. This year is very important…because this year marks the 50th anniversary of China-US renegotiation,” said Huang Ping, Chinese Consul General in New York.

At the opening ceremony, Huang said the re-engagement 50 years ago has led to the normalization of Sino-US relations, which has achieved great success.

Huang noted that people-to-people exchanges between China and the United States have increased over the past 50 years, with more than 5 million people flying across the Pacific every year before the pandemic.

Huang stressed the importance of improving face-to-face exchanges, which have been disrupted by the deterioration in bilateral ties and the pandemic.

The Chinese consulate-general in New York will open in full size on Jan. 25, so people can easily come to apply for visas to enter China, Huang said.

“I hope more people will come to use our service and go to China. Meanwhile, I want to get more people to come back,” Huang added.

A woman poses for photos in front of decorations for the Chinese New Year on the deck lookout of the Empire State Building on January 20, 2023 in New York, the United States. (Source: Xinhua/Liu Yanan)

According to the Chinese Zodiac and tradition, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit which symbolizes longevity, positivity, auspiciousness, wit, caution, prudence and self-protection.

The Spring Festival Window Exhibition in the lobby of the Empire State Building on Fifth Avenue features installations of artistic imagery and depictions of the animal of the coming year – the rabbit.

The Empire State Building will be illuminated in red around sunset beginning Friday evening, marking the 23rd consecutive year of such a tradition.

Visitors to the Empire State Building’s Decks Observatory on the 86th floor also have the opportunity to get a taste of the Year of the Rabbit.

Foodstuffs with images of rabbits are displayed at the Empire State Building deck control room on January 20, 2023 in New York, United States. (Source: Xinhua/Liu Yanan)

“Sheng Mary Bakery will reside in our 86th floor observatory from today until January 29 to offer traditional treats to our guests,” Malkin said.

The bakery offers Year of the Rabbit cakes and other Chinese specialties.

Another booth on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building allows tourists to purchase Chinese-style panda toys, red envelopes, candies, fabrics and fans.

This is the first time the Empire State Building has a Chinese booth to celebrate the Chinese New Year, according to Peter Zhang, president of the Sino-American Friendship Association, which facilitates bilateral exchanges between the United States and China.

Meanwhile, One World Trade Center is scheduled to be illuminated in red during late afternoons and early evenings Friday through Sunday in celebration of the Chinese New Year.

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