Chinese Spring Festival celebrations reach multicultural populations in Texas

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2016-02-06 13:24:14

With the Chinese Spring Festival holiday season of 2016 approaching, residents in Houston of the U.S. state of Texas, with or without Asian origin, have stepped up their expectations for the annual celebrations starting next Monday.

One of the them is Barbara Quattro, a 72-year-old local retiree who has been helping coordinate a parade in a local community of Houston, the fourth largest U.S. city with a Chinese population of 300,000, to mark the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year, or the Year of the Monkey.

"I live in the most diverse neighborhood in Houston, so we have wonderful opportunities to observe and celebrate the holidays of many different cultures without ever leaving home," said Quattro who claimed to be a fan of the traditional Chinese celebrations.

"I love to see the Chinese dragon dancer," said Quattro. Traditional Chinese customs including wearing native clothing and giving and receiving red envelopes with money in it also appealed to her.

In downtown Houston, a large celebration has been slated on Feb. 13 in front of the Houston City Hall. Last year's event drew over 20,000 participants coming all over Texas.

"This year, we hope to double the size and interest of our annual event," Angela Chen, a festival coordinator, told Xinhua, "If the weather is good, we are expecting many more because we have more exciting events that celebrate many cultures."

At the grand gathering, Asian communities from countries including China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippine will display their own unique ways of celebrations.

Dragon and lion dancing, stalls and vendors selling Chinese food, and traditional cultural demonstrations will be part of the annual event.

Houston Rockets, an American profession basketball team based in the space city, announced earlier that its players will wear specially designed jackets printed with Chinese characters in honor of the traditional Chinese new year in three of their games during the week-long festival.

"We are proud to once again honor our many fans in China by wearing uniforms in recognition of their cultural celebration," Houston Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander told local media.

The Rockets has established a special bond with Chinese basketball fans since Yao Ming was selected by the team as the first overall pick in the 2002 draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Yao's nine-year NBA career brought about unparalleled popularity to Houston Rockets, which has developed a tradition to add some Chinese elements in its games during the Spring Festival.

"It is truly an honor for our organization to continue this tradition," Alexander said.

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