Lotus Festival brings Chinese traditions to Los Angeles
In beautiful Echo Park in the western US city of Los Angeles, chubby
tots and raven-haired toddlers run giggling together along the grassy
banks of the lake while saucer-sized lily pads bob up and down as dragon
boats race by.
A stone's throw away, under a perfect summer sky,
visitors snap selfies in front of a Chinese-style moon bridge which
arches over a motionless inlet skirted with nodding reeds.
bucolic scene is not some idyllic place in the countryside, but right in
the heart of Los Angeles during the 38th annual Lotus Festival on
Celebration of culture
festival is a popular Angeleno celebration sponsored by the Los Angeles
Department of Recreation and Parks that brought 200,000 festivalgoers
together over the weekend to celebrate the diverse pan-Asian and Pacific
Island communities and culture of the city.
"The Lotus Festival
started small, but with the help of its passionate supporters, it has
bloomed just like the lotus flower to celebrate the beauty of our city
and its people," enthused David Ryu, a member of the Los Angeles City
Brightly-colored red, white, and gold lanterns danced on
strings looped between the white-topped peaks of a hundred pop-up
booths that were brimming with colorful clothing, ethnic handbags, hats,
jewelry and trinkets of all kinds for sale.
slides entertained scores of kids, as did a variety of other kiddie
booths offering arts and crafts workshops of all kinds.
Tasty treats were in abundance too, including a wide selection of Asian fare, like bean buns, panda snacks and Chinese delicacies.
year the festival showcases a different country and culture, and this
year it is honoring China and the vibrant Chinese culture which is an
integral part of Los Angeles and California.
Los Angeles city
councilman Mitch O' Farrell, along with Chinese Consul General in Los
Angeles Zhang Ping kicked off the festival.
"At the Lotus
Festival, we celebrate our diversity and the multiculturalism that makes
LA the greatest city in America. This year we honor China and their
5,000 years of civilization," Farrell said.
Zhang said the Lotus
Festival provides an opportunity for Angelenos to celebrate the cultural
heritage of Asian and Pacific Island communities, and showcase the
ethnic harmony and cultural diversity of Los Angeles, a vibrant city
which many communities of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds call
"In today's world, we need more inclusiveness, better
understanding, closer exchange and cooperation to make our community and
world more harmonious and prosperous," added Zhang.
McDaniel, an American who took Asian studies in college and has spent
time in China, told the Xinhua News Agency, "I'm really happy this event
is available. I feel like I have been exposed to a lot of China. This
can expose other people that may not have the privilege that I've had to
experience such a cool and unique culture."
Chinese pavilion also offered lessons on Chinese culture and arts, such
as the ancient art of calligraphy and the delicate art of
Enchanting traditional Chinese dances were
preformed on the main stage by brightly-garbed dancers in exotic
head-dresses, accompanied by ancient-style Chinese music played on
traditional Chinese stringed instruments and flutes.
martial art of Tai Chi was also showcased, as skilled practitioners
enthralled the crowd, moving in unison in slow motion.
the music and dances of China. They are so unique, like nothing you've
ever seen before," one booth vendor who gave her name as Virginia said.
cultural events and people-to-people exchanges have a positive impact
on bilateral relations and form the foundation of our strongest
relationships. They can make people in both countries realize the
importance of maintaining good, steady relations and world stability,"