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New York's Empire State Building lights up for Chinese New Year

(Xinhua)

09:27, January 21, 2012

NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Empire State Building in New York on Friday lit up its tower red and gold to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year. Sun Guoxiang, Chinese Consul General in New York, spoke at the lighting ceremony about the significance of this Year of the Dragon as a symbol of excellence and fortune. "In the minds of the early Chinese people, the dragon was a god that embodied the will and ideals of the Chinese people. Therefore the Chinese often consider themselves 'descendants of the dragon,' "said Sun.

Jean-Yves Ghazi, director of the Empire State Building Observatory, said that "the red and gold, representing happiness and wealth, will illuminate the city sky, spreading good fortunes in the new year for all." Since 2001, an annual lighting ceremony of the Empire State Building for the Chinese Lunar New Year has been held as a tradition. The lighting this year will be on Friday and Monday night.

Sun also visited the NASDAQ MarketSite Friday morning in NYC's Times Square with pianist Lang Lang in celebration of the year of the Dragon. Both of them joined NASDAQ Senior Vice President Robert McCooey to ring the opening bell for the NASDAQ MarketSite.

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