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Chicago gears up efforts for Chinese New Year celebration

(Xinhua)    08:45, February 12, 2015

CHICAGO, Feb. 11 -- The efforts in preparing for celebration of Chinese New Year have gained momentum in this midwest American city of Chicago, where Chicagoans will again enjoy an extra official citywide holiday for the festive occasion.

For people of Chinese origin, the New Year 2015 on the Chinese Lunar calendar starts Thursday next week.

A Chicago Chinese New Year would never be complete without a celebration on famed Mag Mile, the city's central shopping area that has 290,000 square meters of retail space and some of the tallest buildings in the United States.

Macy's, one of America's largest retailers, has invited a six- member team from the Chinese Ministry of Culture's Arts and Entertainment Group to come and decorate a window, with the plan to top their display from the previous year.

Yin Peng, director of the Third International Division with the Ministry of Culture's Arts and Entertainment Group, the largest state-owned creative collaboration in China, told Xinhua that he hoped the design would bring a joyful atmosphere to State Street, where Macy's is located.

"We're using Chinese traditional paper cuts to make the pattern of the sheep, like a wheel, and we're going to make different kinds of pinwheels inside the window to see," he said.

The design focuses on the zodiac's eighth sign of the 12-year cycle, the sheep. It serves to inform the people of Chicago that this year is the year of the Ram. For the design, the team is making a big sheep inside decorated with firecrackers.

Lauren Rapisand, Macy's media relations manager, said that the celebration is a result of Macy's prioritizing Chinese customers.

"One of the ways we celebrate the culture of the Chinese and help show that we really appreciate them as customers is really celebrate the new year," she said. "It not only shows our appreciation for our Chinese visitors and customers but also shows all of our other customers that this is a really important time to celebrate and really embrace the culture."

Chicago, which is in the state of Illinois, is one of the most populous cities in the United States. There are more than 43,000 residents of Chinese descent living in the city, according to U.S. Census.

In January 2014, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel announced that Chinese New Year would be an official city holiday, shortly after visiting China to promote tourism for Chicago.

According to the city government's website, the celebration continues this year as more citywide celebrations, including performances, parades, and special events to mark the Year of the Sheep will take place from Feb. 15 to March 1.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yao Xinyu,Yao Chun)

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