Global landmarks, attractions turn red to celebrate China's Year of the Rat

2020-01-26 18:07:58

BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Landmarks worldwide have been illuminated red, a color symbolizing good luck and happiness in China, while popular tourist attractions have been filled with rat-shaped decorations -- a clear nod to Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations.

As China on Saturday ushered in the Year of the Rat, the first animal in the Chinese zodiac and the start of a new 12-year cycle, many celebrated alongside Chinese communities around the world, while developing a better understanding of Chinese culture.


Among the attractions that have embraced the Chinese New Year, Disney's California Adventure Park in the United States has transformed "the Year of the Rat" into "the Year of the Mouse," starring the iconic Disney characters Mickey and Minnie.

Located in the California city of Anaheim, large red lanterns with decorative gold tassels can be seen hanging from parapets, while festive red banners flutter from lampposts, turning the amusement park into a sea of red and gold.

And as the star attractions, Mickey and Minnie Mouse look particularly festive in their new traditional Chinese-style costumes.

Mickey is wearing a traditional Chinese-style tunic of fine red silk, featuring gold-thread patterns to represent the traditional Chinese element of water, plus gold trousers and red bubble shoes as the final touches.

Minnie, meanwhile, is a vision in red, adorned with a richly decorated red silk cape fringed with gold tassels, embroidered with traditional Chinese water wave, peony blossom, and cloud patterns.

Guo Pei, a Chinese-born and internationally-prominent fashion designer, explained the elements of Chinese and Disney traditions that she creatively fused in her designs.

Red and gold are the traditional colors of the Chinese New Year, so they were a good place to start, she said.

"I also used three elements of Chinese culture in the design: one is water, which represents smooth sailing and good fortune; I also added peony to represent elegance, and the third is the traditional 'auspicious cloud pattern' for good luck."

"Children all over the world love Mickey and Minnie. It's an opportunity for me to express and share Chinese culture to the world through my work," Guo added.

Characters of Disney greet visitors during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations at Disney's California Adventure Park in Anaheim, the United States, Jan. 17, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Ying)

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