A flash mob featuring a hundred performers in monkey costumes makes an appearance to celebrate the arrival of the Chinese New Year in Times Square on Manhattan, New York, the United States, Feb. 6, 2016.The event is an effort to let people from all over the world experience the beauty of Chinese culture, and, in a move to convey the New Year's blessings. (Photo: Xinhua/Wang Lei)
Fourteen-year-old Chen Yiyue, who is half-Chinese, half-French, has always relished the atmosphere of a Chinese Spring Festival celebration. When her mother invites friends to dine with them during that festival, the table is full of delicious food, ladies all wear red and grandparents give her cash-stuffed red envelopes.
Yiyue's father Herve Delmaire immediately fell in love with the festival when they started celebrating it about 10 years ago, and actively joins in the preparations each year, always rushing to decorate rooms with red lanterns. Now, their French friends ask the family each year on what day they celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year.
For Yiyue's mother Chen Li, the Spring Festival celebration is more than a tradition to keep the memory from her hometown and home country alive. It is also a chance for her husband and French friends to share in the joy and warmth of the traditional Chinese festival, and send good wishes to each other for the next year.
The themes of the festival, including reunion, luck, peace, affluence, good health and safety, are all ideals that Chinese people have held for thousands of years, said Feng Jicai, a famous writer and president of the Chinese Folk Literature and Art Association.
In order to be with families at the most important festival of the year, Chinese people travel long distances to go back home, as 2.9 billion trips are expected to be made during this holiday season.
However faraway and inconvenient -- even settling with a standing ticket for a 20-hour-plus trip -- Chinese people would not be willing to miss the annual family reunion. They go home, bring gifts, hand out red envelopes to seniors and children, and offer their best wishes to each other for a good year.
The festival, an occasion which features exciting family reunions and sincere caring for families and friends, is also known for its inclusiveness, which allows people from across the world to join the celebration regardless of their cultural, racial and religious backgrounds.