Chinese New Year comes to Madison Avenue

World Today

Lion 2

This Spring Festival in New York City’s Chinatown brought the Lunar New Year celebrations to the heart of Manhattan’s shopping district where big-named stores, from Breitling to Michael Kors, welcomed the traditional Chinese lion dance.

Organizers said it makes big business sense both culturally and commercially.

CGTN’s Liling Tan reports.

Follow Liling Tan on Twitter @LilingTan

Chinese New Year comes to Madison Avenue

Chinese New Year brings business to Madison Avenue. City officials say Chinese Americans and Chinese tourists will benefit the businesses on Madison. CGTN's Liling Tan reports from New York.

Bringing Chinese-style prosperity to Manhattan’s major shopping district this lion dance troupe is taking the traditional practice of “cai qing” to more than 40 famous fashion and jewelry boutiques on Madison Avenue.

From one store to the next, the lion dancers and the accompanying drummers paraded in and out of boutiques that line the famous thoroughfare, wowing tourists and shoppers, and posing to take pictures.

So this is a very important and popular practice among ethnic Chinese communities celebrating the Lunar New Year. The lion dance troupe’s performance is believed to bring good luck and prosperity to business operations.

This may be a familiar scene in cities around the world with large Chinese communities – such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Sydney – but it’s only the second time it’s being done on this scale in Manhattan.

Wellington Chen, the executive director of the Chinatown Partnership, explains.

“The fact that so many people are not aware of Chinatown, because if you don’t go down to Chinatown, our celebration are all inward looking, we are a society that’s very isolated. So now it’s very very clear we need to connect the dots,” said Chen.

Rob Byrnes, president of the East Midtown Partnership explains why he thinks Chinese-Americans and Chinese tourists should familiar themselves with Madison Avenue.

“It benefits business because the Chinese consumer – Chinese Americans and Chinese tourists – are a major economic engine in this city, especially with Madison Avenue luxury brands, so we wanted to help familiarize both the businesses with the Chinese community, and the Chinese community with the businesses,” said Bymes.

For retailers and shoppers, it’s more than just a commercial exchange it’s also a cultural one.

Rose Nan Ping Chen talks about Chinese Spring Festival celebrated around the globe

To discuss Chinese Spring Festival celebrated around the globe and the young heirs of Chinese traditions overseas, CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke to Rose Nan Ping Chen, Founder of the ROSE Group for Cross- Cultural Understanding