Spring Festival celebration staged online in U.S. Houston

HOUSTON, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) — A grand Spring Festival gala organized in the U.S. city of Houston was staged online to celebrate the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year Saturday night.

Efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the past year were highlighted in the celebration. The show started with the Symphony of Festive Overture performed by the Texas Medical Center Orchestra including doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

Together with all kinds of performances by local and overseas artists, New Year greetings were sent by politicians and community leaders.

In a video, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner expressed gratitude and warm Lunar New Year wishes to the Chinese community.

“I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Chinese community for helping Houston through the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Turner said. “I look forward to the time that we can all come together safely again in person and we can celebrate together. Until that time, may the Year of the Ox bring joy and prosperity to each of us.”

Titled “Embracing Spring,” the show is the largest of its kind in Houston. Due to the pandemic, this year’s gala was presented online for the first time through streaming platforms such as YouTube and Youku, among others.

Yang Deqing, chief executive of the Chinese Civic Center, said several technicians have helped address the technical challenges, making sure the show can be viewed smoothly online.

Despite the difficulties, local artists and art troupes were passionate about the event. “Around 70 programs have signed up for the event, more than any year before,” director of the show Jiajin Ji said. Over 40 programs were chosen due to time limit.

The show was presented by the Houston Chinese Civic Center and co-organized by other Chinese communities in Houston.

The Year of the Ox begins on Feb. 12.

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