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Disneyland Article
Celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year At Disneyland California

ID:TMS-3002
Source:xinhuanet.com
Author:
Dateline:February 22, 2015
Posted:March 07, 2015
 
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Even when told the waiting time will be 1 to 1.5 hours, the Zhu family stand without hesitation at the end of the long line to take a picture with Mickey and Minnie dressing in red Chinese New Year costume at the Disney California Adventure Park Saturday.

"There is only one time in a year that you can take a picture with Mickey and Minnie in Chinese costume," said Tjoe, a family member who were together with 5 adults and 4 kids of the Indonesian-Chinese family.

They used to celebrate the Lunar New Year by dining together. But this year, they chose the Disneyland as their place for the festival reunion. "It' s a good way for family reunion and for Lunar New Year celebration," said Tjoe, looking at the four joyful young kids, also in traditional Chinese New Year dress.

Writing New Year wishes on red tags and hanging them on the wishing wall, Chinese brush painting and calligraphy, red lantern making, live music and dancing performances ... nearly a dozen of Lunar New Year cultural events attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the Paradise Pier in the Disney California Adventure Park where the celebration is being on Feb. 19-22.

Mickey and Minnie' s character greeting is the most popular one, even beating the Radio Springs Racer, outside which visitors usually line up in a long queue.

"It is quite unique to experience the Lunar New Year celebration here. You cannot find it anywhere else," said Patrick and Tatiana, a young couple coming from Los Angeles to Anaheim, waiting for taking picture with Mickey and Minnie.

What makes this year' s celebration different from previous ones is the dancing performance by a group of kids from China' s Shaanxi province.

"Yangge" and "Waist Drum" dancing by the 20 elementary students aged 9 to 11 brings the visitors authentic flavor of China' s North Shaanxi culture.

"Their dancing is amazing. I have never seen this kind of dancing before," said 40-year-old Terra Donahue after watching their performance, though she did not quite understand why the boys wrap white towels on their heads. Farmers in Shaanxi used to wrap white towels on their heads, even when they perform festival dancing "Yangge."

It was the first time 10-year-old Sun Lingrui, one of the "Yangge" performers, had gone out of her hometown Luochuan County in Shaanxi province. The kids, mostly from peasant families, travelled far to Southern California, first by train to Beijing and then by plane.

"Disneyland is so big, and the buildings are beautiful," said Sun, who had never dreamed of being in the Disneyland someday.

Sun's "Yangge" team was sponsored by the Walt Disney company as part of the "Rainbow Bridge Project," a non-government diplomatic innovation project initiated by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, which is aimed at building a bridge between different cultures and between multinational corporations and rural areas in China.

In vibrant red, yellow, green color costumes and with jubilant North Shaanxi folk songs, Sun and her teammates danced cheerfully in the sunshine.

Li Xinyu, group leader of the "Yangge" and waist drum dancing teams, said that the young performers are trying their best to show American visitors traditional Chinese folk arts and deliver the festival blessing of Lunar New Year.
 

 
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