Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations kick off virtually in Chicago

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 13, 2021
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Chicago, the third largest city in the United States, on Friday kicked off its celebrations of the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Ox, with a variety of virtual events.

Citywide celebrations of the Chinese New Year, which have turned online due to COVID-19 pandemic this year, remain basically the same, as people from afar can join in thanks to the virtual format.

For years, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Center has hosted a concert celebrating the Lunar New Year to a packed audience. This year, a greeting video and a joint performance by musicians from the China National Traditional Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra are released online on Friday, the Chinese New Year Day.

The Art Institute of Chicago, which usually organizes hands-on activities and performances for the Lunar New Year celebration, has introduced a virtual tour of artworks with the theme of "stay strong and bullish in 2021."

"Different from the past, we can show artworks from different countries that are not necessarily on display," Tao Wang, curator of Chinese Art of the institute, told Xinhua.

"Through blog articles, social media posts, and cellphone wallpaper designs, we are celebrating the diverse history of the ox worldwide," said Wang Yuanzhe working with the art institute. "To foster togetherness in the spirit of Lunar New Year."

The Chinese American Association at Greater Chicago (CAAGC) is scheduled to stage an online performance Friday night, when more than 60 local groups and organizations will participate.

"We're in the midst of the pandemic. We want this year's event to focus on sending warmth and cheers to everyone," said Jan Zheng, president of the CAAGC.

The event will be accessible anywhere in the United States.

Zheng said the CAAGC had received video greetings for the Lunar New Year celebration from Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, and congress representatives.

Earlier, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a proclaim marking Feb. 12 a day of celebration for the "Chinese Lunar New Year of the Ox in Chicago" and encouraging "residents of all background and ages to join in celebrating this rich and vibrant tradition."

The annual Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown on the south side of Chicago won't take place this year, but the lion dancers will go from business to business on Sunday, Feb. 21, and stage a final performance in Chinatown Square.

"The pandemic has affected our way of celebration, but it won't prevent us from celebrating the Chinese New Year," said Zheng.

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