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Sino-American Friendship Association (SAFA) participated in the opening ceremony with a Chinese cultural performance, panda dance during the 2013 Times Square New Year’s Eve Countdown Celebration. This was the second time an aspect of Chinese culture be part of the celebration since it began in 1904. SAFA held the first Chinese performance with traditional lion dance during Countdown Celebration 2012. In a city with such a multicultural population as New York, the panda dance captures the beauty and diversity of its most populous ethnic group.
At 6pm on December 31st at Duffy Square Countdown Stage, as the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball ascended to the top, the opening ceremony began with a creative east meeting west “China Style” panda dance. Regarded as a symbol for friendship and peace, three pandas had attracted over a million people at Times Square by their beautiful coats and playful nature as the Chinese friendship ambassador. The New Year’s Eve Ball had radiated the color of red and yellow symbolizing “fortune and happiness” in traditional Chinese culture with extravagant fireworks displayed highlighting the New Year’s Eve Celebration. Throughout the performance, families and friends enjoyed a truly authentic Chinese cultural celebration taking place within a decorated American traditional celebration. The celebration had taught those in attendance about the traditional Chinese New Year’s celebration as well as broadcasted live in China and around the world. It is a wonderful example of West “kisses” East: a theme that is growing evermore prominent in today’s burgeoning international community and society.
Peter Zhang, President of Sino-American Friendship Association with the honorable guests Guoxiang Sun, Council General of Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China; Cas Holloway, Deputy Mayor of New York; Yaping Xue, Representative of China National Tourism Administration; Tim Tompkins, President of Times Square Alliance; Guosheng Li, an extraordinary Chinese entrepreneur from Zhejiang Province attended the opening ceremony. U.S. and China representatives exchanged gifts—a crystal piece from the New Year’s Eve Ball and special gifts from China, symbolizing the friendship between the two countries after the ceremony at Daffy Square red steps.
The ceremony had been broadcasted throughout Times Square on multiple LED screens including the giant Toshiba Vision screen atop One Times Square directly beneath the New Year’s Eve Ball. Many American and Chinese media outlets had covered this historic moment in China and New York. Over 400 million Chinese viewed this wonderful moment in China and worldwide through television, newspapers and online.
News Report Links
1. China Daily (English)
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