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London Eye glitters in red and gold for Chinese New Year

Updated: Feb 10, 2024 Xinhua Print
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During Spring Festival celebrations, the London Eye was illuminated in red and gold, traditional colors for Chinese New Year, accompanied by artistic performances including dragon dances.

As part of the Spring Festival celebrations, the London Eye, one of Britain's major landmarks, was illuminated in red and gold on Thursday, the auspicious colors traditionally used for the traditional festival, also known as the Chinese New Year.

In a drizzle, people stopped by the iconic Ferris wheel on the south bank of the River Thames to witness the change of lights for the Spring Festival celebrations.

The lighting-up ceremony, held jointly by the London Chinatown Chinese Association and the London Eye, has been a routine in Chinese New Year celebrations here for several years, said Scott O'Neil, CEO of Merlin Entertainments, the company that owns this attraction. "To have a special year like this, which is the Year of the Dragon, makes it all the more special."

O'Neil shared with Xinhua his understanding of the special meaning of dragon, "it means loyalty, a drive-forward and an active pursuit of something wonderful."

Artistic performances were also staged under the London Eye, including the dragon dance. An 18-meter-long golden dragon from Tongliang, a district of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality was unveiled during the evening performances.

Tongliang Dragon Dance originated in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and flourished during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). In 2006, it was honored as part of the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage.

London resident Fie de Foiard Brown described the performances as "phenomenal, just stunning," adding that she had enjoyed the Spring Festival parade in London's Chinatown before.

"The opportunity to see dragon and lion dancers here in front of the London Eye will be a memory I will not soon forget. They were energetic and brought life, and really signify the beauty and grace of Lunar Chinese New Year," said O'Neil.

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