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Largest Chinese lantern festival

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-22 07:34

The largest Chinese lantern festival in US history, Lights of the World, kicked off on Friday in the capital of Arizona to boost Sino-US cultural ties.

The event lasting until Jan 29 and running through four of the most important holidays - Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, New Year and Spring Festival - is expected to attract more than half a million local residents, says Song Yang, vice-chairman of the US-China Cultural and Educational Foundation.

"It is also a good opportunity for Americans to get to know more about Chinese folk art," he says, adding that culture is a means for people to exchange different ideas and understand each other.

The festival at the Gila River Indian Community covers about 90,000 square meters, and showcases more than 80 huge lantern units.

Among the displays, Heaven Temple is about 18 meters high and China Dragon is 70 meters long.

About 380 Chinese craftsmen worked for three months to prepare the show and the displays used more than 160 tons of steel and more than four million lights, says Song, who co-invested more than $6 million in the event with a private company from Southwest China's Sichuan province.

"It's a really good feeling to have this fantastic experience," says Stephen Rowe Lewis, governor of Gila River Indian Community.

He says it's a culture event and it's also an event beyond culture - it's "an exciting thing that will bring our two people together".


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