“Journey to the East”: New York’s Winter Lantern Festival celebrates its opening night

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STATEN ISLAND, NY – The Chinese tradition of lantern making is an elaborate generational practice that has existed for thousands of years – with each celebration signifying a wish for a better and brighter future, with the optimistic lights and colors representing the gift of wealth, prosperity and more. And as the New York Winter Lantern Festival kicked off on Friday, October 21, illuminating St. George’s Staten Island University Hospital Community Park with hundreds of colorful displays, Staten Islanders were given a very honorable invitation. to share this revered ritual.

“We are so happy to host this festival here and share our diverse culture with you,” said Huang Ping, China’s consul general, who was on hand for the festival’s opening ceremonies. “Lantern festivals are so important in our country, so popular and so meaningful. We hope sharing them with you will promote better understanding between the United States and China. »

Created by Kaleido Arts & Entertainment Group and titled “Journey to the East”, the exhibit features over 10,000 handmade Chinese lanterns created by over 100 artists. (Staten Island Advance/Shane DiMaio)

Created by Kaleido Arts & Entertainment Group and titled “Journey to the East”, the exhibit, which will be on display until January, features more than 10,000 handmade Chinese lanterns created by more than 100 artists. The lanterns are illuminated by LED lights that can reach up to 30 feet high across a total of 60 acres.

“Lantern festivals have been a part of Chinese culture and history for thousands of years, honoring our ancestors and celebrating peace, prosperity and good fortune,” said Haokun Liu, partner of Kaleido Arts & Entertainment. Group. “We are thrilled to bring back the NYC Winter Lantern Festival, now in its fourth year, to expand to new venues, to introduce all visitors to the beauty of these handcrafted installations, and to ensure that the spectacle be part of New York’s cultural holiday tradition.”

nws NYC Winter Lantern Festival 2022

The screens are scattered around both the infield and outfield at Staten Island University Hospital Community Park, home of the Staten Island FerryHawks. (Staten Island Advance/Shane DiMaio)

Previously housed at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden in Livingston, the event has been a holiday presence in the borough since 2018. This year’s move to FerryHawk Stadium was championed by team president Eric Shuffler.

“This stadium isn’t just for baseball, it’s also New York’s newest and greatest entertainment venue,” Shuffler said. “Our goal when we embarked on this venture was to attract visitors from the outer boroughs and support the surrounding Staten Island business community. An event like this validates that mission.

nws NYC Winter Lantern Festival 2022

Several animal-themed lanterns are located at the entrance to the festival. (Staten Island Advance/Shane DiMaio)

And while related winter lantern installations are also being hosted in Nassau and Suffolk counties of Queens and Long Island this year, Shuffler is confident that the Staten Island installation will be the most successful in the city, considering from the stadium’s central location.

“We are right next to the [Staten Island Ferry terminal],” he said. “We have a great view and a great, convenient location. I’m confident this event will bring thousands of people here to our borough.

nws NYC Winter Lantern Festival 2022

The Monkey King, seen here atop the blue structure, is one of the highlights of the facility. (Staten Island Advance/Shane DiMaio)

Visitors can walk and stroll through a world inspired by Chinese myths and legends, including a larger-than-life handcrafted lantern of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. Plus, the lantern exhibits include an animal kingdom, sea world, and illuminated tunnels. There will also be lighted swings (mountable), food vendors and photo ops.

nws NYC Winter Lantern Festival 2022

A lantern panda, dressed in a baseball uniform, sits at home plate. (Staten Island Advance/Shane DiMaio)

The festival will be open only on weekends until mid-December from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. From December 23, the exhibition will be open every evening until January 1, 2023.

Tickets are priced at $28.99 for adults, plus a service charge. Children’s tickets are $17.99. Parking is available on site for $10. Tickets can be purchased now at www.winterlanternfestival.comand for a limited time, buyers can get 30% off by November 11 with “EARLYP” promotion.

nws NYC Winter Lantern Festival 2022

Hundreds of people attended the 2022 NYC Winter Lantern Festival opening night at Staten Island University Hospital Community Park in St. George on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. (Staten Island Advance/Shane DiMaio)

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