Light from the East: Chinese Lantern Festival brightens Expo New Mexico - Albuquerque Journal

Light from the East: Chinese Lantern Festival brightens Expo New Mexico

Hundreds of lights have been lighting up Expo New Mexico.

And it’s something unique for the area.

The New Mexico Chinese Lantern Festival features more than 30 illuminated displays crafted by Chinese artisans.

The displays are created by hand using silk fabric, steel frames and 15,000 LED lights.

The festival runs 5:30 to 10 p.m. daily through Nov. 12. There are also performances that feature contortion, face changing, plate spinning, Uygur dance, Mongolian dance and Tibetan dance. Those performances are at 6:30 and 8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 6:30, 8 and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The festival is presented by Tianyu Arts and Culture, an international company devoted to sharing Chinese culture.

For 2,000 years, China has celebrated with lanterns, and this year New Mexico will help celebrate.

“We are excited to bring the very first Chinese lantern festival to New Mexico,” says Huiyuan Liu, event manager, Tianyu Arts and Culture Inc. “Albuquerque has a long history of hosting world-famous art and culture events that attract millions of visitors, and that’s why we choose to bring the festival to the city.” Tianyu produces similar festivals that attract thousands in New Orleans; Philadelphia; Columbus, Ohio; Norfolk, Va.; and Spokane, Wash.

In Albuquerque, the highlights will be a 100-foot-long dragon and a three-story-high Chinese palace lantern, as well as dazzling nightly performances and handicraft displays.

There will also be a wide variety of food options available, as well as the nightly performances.

“The New Mexico Chinese Lantern Festival will be another extraordinary attraction for tourists and locals to enjoy,” says Ernie C’de Baca, president and CEO of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce.

Each night, artists will showcase traditional Chinese crafts, which will also be for sale. Handicrafts include inner bottle painting, Chinese knot weaving, and dough modeling.

“The Chinese Culture Center is all about promoting diversity and esoteric experiences to our fair city,” says Sifu Ray Tokuda of the Chinese Culture Center.

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