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Largest shopping center on U.S. West Coast kicks off annual Chinese Lunar New Year celebration

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People watch a lion dance performance at South Coast Plaza in Orange County, Southern California, the United States, on Feb. 8, 2024. (Photo by Zeng Hui/Xinhua)

The three-meter-high dragon appears to come to life, breathing water to yield a bountiful harvest, while eight holographic dragons fly above. Moreover, eight more dragons soar inside and outside the building, heralding an auspicious year.

COSTA MESA, the United States, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) — South Coast Plaza (SCP), the largest shopping center on the West Coast of the United States, kicked off its 12th Chinese Lunar New Year celebration with a spectacular Year of the Dragon display Thursday.

SCP, located 60 km south of downtown Los Angeles, boasts sales approaching 2 billion U.S. dollars annually, the highest in the United States. Its 19-day Lunar New Year festivities are always the largest and most extensive of any retail center on the West Coast, drawing visitors from throughout California.

As part of an annual tradition at the huge shopping mall, a dramatic Lunar New Year centerpiece has been on display since Thursday — a large dragon, symbolizing power, nobility, honor, luck and success.

People visit a dragon-themed decoration at South Coast Plaza in Orange County, Southern California, the United States, on Feb. 8, 2024. (Photo by Zeng Hui/Xinhua)

The three-meter-high dragon appears to come to life, breathing water to yield a bountiful harvest, while eight holographic dragons fly above. Moreover, eight more dragons soar inside and outside the building, heralding an auspicious year.

“South Coast Plaza continues to be at the forefront of Lunar New Year celebrations on the West Coast by providing the best in exclusive and culturally relevant experiences,” Debra Gunn Downing, executive director of marketing at SCP told Xinhua.

“From limited-edition products from our boutiques and specially created menus by world-class chefs at select restaurants to our spectacular centerpiece, South Coast Plaza is the must-visit destination for the Year of the Dragon,” she said.

Performers present Lion dance at South Coast Plaza in Orange County, Southern California, the United States, on Feb. 8, 2024. (Photo by Zeng Hui/Xinhua)

A photography exhibition was presented by the Consulate General of China in Los Angeles and the China National Tourist Office in Los Angeles, titled “Ni Hao! China/Happy Chinese New Year,” where a ribbon was cut on Thursday as well.

Wang Taiyu, cultural counselor of the Consulate General of China in Los Angeles, said the photos showed how Chinese people all over the country celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, and he hoped American people could get a glimpse of modern China when viewing the photos, or better yet, by visiting China.

“Viewing the photos is interesting, but being there in person is even better!” he said. “So we invite our American friends to come to China, see what it’s like, and get a taste of Chinese culture. Through people-to-people exchanges, we can get to know each other better, making our friendship stronger.” 

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