130: Shaanxi Event + Lunar New Year +  Australia Hiking + LNY’s Eve at Lincoln Center +  Experience BAPS HinduCulture +Yuyuan  Garden Lanterns; 130-20240206

Issue 130, February 5, 2024New York, NYIssue 129 https://conta.cc/3uoUkI1
Shaanxi Cultural and Tourism Event
The China National Tourist Office in New York would like to extend a formal invitation to members of NY PATA for our upcoming “Shaanxi Tourism Promotion Event.” The event is scheduled to take place on February 27th at Broadway Ballroom, the Westin New York at Times Square( 270 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036). We are honored to have the opportunity to showcase the beauty and diversity of Shaanxi to our esteemed guests. The event promises to be a delightful experience, with cultural performances, interactive sessions, and a chance to network with industry experts. We look forward to welcoming you to the event and sharing our passion for Shaanxi with you.ReminderNY PATA members, please RSVP asapelizabethnypata@gmail.comNeed name of your company and official title.Thank you to members who have already replied and confirmed.
Lunar New Year / Spring Festival
In some cultures, the Western dragon is mostly evil, while the loong or Chinese dragon embodies all the positive qualities and abilities. As far as some of the Chinese are concerned, it’s now Year of the Loong, not Year of the Dragon, because the 龙/loong or Chinese dragon is different from the Western dragon.
Chinese lanterns are an integral part of the celebration of Chinese New Year. Lanterns are an important auspicious symbol in Chinese culture as these symbolize promotion or upward movement in one’s social status, hence lanterns are popular decorative items throughout the year.
We are excited to announce the upcoming Lunar New Year celebration in China and overseas Chinese communities around the world. China, being the second most populous country in Asia and the world, with a population of 1.409 billion, holds great significance in this annual festival. Additionally, the Chinese diaspora, known as the Overseas Chinese, is the largest diaspora globally, with 10.7 million Chinese living abroad, and an astounding 60 million when including their descendants.
Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, marks the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new year on the lunisolar calendar. This vibrant and joyous holiday is not only the most important celebration in China but is also widely observed in Korea, Vietnam, Tibet, Mongolia, and other Asian cultures that follow the lunisolar Chinese calendar. 
A quarter of the population in Malaysia is of Chinese descent, hence Chinese New Year takes on great importance and is a national holiday.Malaysia, being a multi-cultural country, embraces the diversity of its three dominant ethnic groups – Malays, Chinese, and Indians, each with their unique culture and traditional festivals. Public holidays are declared on the three important festivals celebrated by the Malays, Chinese, and Indians, namely Hari Raya Puasa, Chinese New Year, and Deepavali, respectively.
Thailand is home to the largest Overseas Chinese community in the world, and the level of assimilation is also the highest. Most Thai Chinese today speak Thai as their native or main language. As the Chinese New Year approaches, many Thai Chinese are preparing to celebrate and reunite with their immediate and extended family. The holiday is an important time for Thai Chinese to honor their heritage and maintain their cultural traditions. It is a time for feasting, exchanging gifts, and participating in festive activities. Despite being far from their ancestral homeland, Thai Chinese are proud to celebrate their cultural roots and share their traditions with others.
The Chinese New Year has long been celebrated in the Philippines, with ethnic Chinese comprising about 5% of the population. In recognition of this, it has become an official holiday in the country, and celebrations have grown in scale over the years.One of the key traditions during this time is the lighting of the Prosperity Tree, which symbolizes hope and prosperity for the coming year. The Manila government has even launched an initiative to kick off the festivities in Binondo, the world’s oldest Chinatown, to highlight the significant contributions of the Chinese community to the city’s culture and history. This year, Binondo celebrates its 430th anniversary, making it an even more special occasion. Additionally, 2024 is the year of the Wooden Dragon, which is highly auspicious in the Chinese zodiac.
The Lunar New Year celebrations in the Philippines are a vibrant and exciting event, with one of the most popular attractions being the Parades of Dragons and Lions. These parades feature colorful dances with twists and twirls that attract massive crowds of spectators on Ongpin Street, the major street of Chinatown. The street gets filled with vendors, performers, and excited spectators during this festive time.Apart from the parades, Chinese Filipinos also indulge in traditional foods during the Lunar New Year. Chestnuts are a favorite street food, and rice cakes are easily found everywhere. Pineapples, pomelos, and other citrus fruits are popular gifts during this time. Whole fish, noodles, and dumplings are also part of the feast.
In Singapore, Lunar New Year is officially known as Chinese New Year. It is a significant festival celebrated by the Chinese diaspora, who constitute three-quarters of the population in Singapore. The festival is celebrated by different ethnic groups such as Hokkien, Cantonese, Teochew, Hainanese, Hakka, and Peranakan, who have their own unique set of traditions and customs. Besides, Singaporeans have also incorporated cultural elements from other communities such as Malays and Indians, making it a vibrant celebration.Stay tuned for more details on the exciting events and traditions that will take place during the Lunar New Year celebration in China and across the global Chinese communities. Join us in embracing the spirit of renewal, prosperity, and unity as we welcome the Year of the Dragon.
LNY’s Eve Celebration at Lincoln Center
Ring in the Year of the Wood Dragon—and all of its abundance, prosperity and rejuvenation—with two days’ worth of Lunar New Year celebrations at Lincoln Center. Taking place at the David Rubenstein Atrium, the festivities will include karaoke, meditation, arts and crafts, traditional demonstrations, live DJs, delicious goodies and a family-friendly party featuring a performance by the Tai Look Lion Dance Team.Both days (February 9 and 10) are FREE to attend, with first-come first-serve general admission.
https://rubinmuseum.org/events/event/losar-family-day-2024/Read the winning article: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/…/what-its-like-to-walk…
Experience BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, NJ Landmark of Hindu Culture and Architecture
You are invited to an exclusive open house for travel professionals to tour and learn more about this cultural destination.
February 28th, 2024, 4:00 PM112 N Main St, Robbinsville NJ 08561Register Now
As we kick off 2024, we’d like to invite you to the first Travel Professionals’ Open House to visit BAPS Akshardham, a Landmark of Hindu Culture & Architecture. Officially the 2nd largest Hindu house of worship in the world, BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham officially opened its doors to all on October 15, 2023, and we’re excited to showcase all that it has to offer to your tour groups or clients. The event will feature a private guided tour of the new mahamandir, an inside look at the experiences available to your clients, and dinner at the on-site restaurant, Shayona Café. Whether you’re interested in bringing a tour group here or curious to learn more, we welcome you to join fellow travel professionals at a place of unparalleled beauty, culture, and spirituality!
Event Itinerary:4:00 PM – Arrival; Registration & Networking4:30 PM – Welcome Remarks 4:45 PM  Guided Tour5:45 PM – Presentation & Q&A6:30 PM – DinnerQuestions?Reach out to Radha Shah or Pratik Sharma via email or call us at 609-721-6991
Yuyuan Garden in ShanghaiChina-France Year of Culture and Tourism
The annual Yuyuan Garden Lantern Festival began simultaneously in Paris and Shanghai on Friday, December 15, 2023 marking the start of the Sino-France 2024 Chinese New Year celebrations.The Jardin d’Acclimatation in Paris came alive with over 60 large Chinese lantern sets and 2,000 traditional lanterns. The event will run through February 25.Designs featured dragons, mythical creatures from the “Classic of Mountains and Seas,” and colorful light displays. The event aims to immerse visitors in Eastern aesthetics and interactive performances, according to Yuyuan Inc, the festival organizer.At the same time, a lantern installation, the “A Night of Fish and Dragon Dance,” lit up Shanghai’s Yuyuan Garden malls on Friday as a preview for its annual lantern fair. The Shanghai Yuyuan Garden Lantern Festival will be held from late January to late February 2024 to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.

Elizabeth Chin
Executive Director
PATA New York