Ivanka Trump (L), daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, attends the Chinese Embassy's New Year reception with her daughter (front L) in Washington, D.C., the United States, Feb. 1, 2017. China and the United States should always cooperate in the face of challenges, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said Wednesday. (Xinhua/Liu Yang)
NEW YORK, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- "Happy new year, happy new year, happy new year to you all. We are dancing, we are singing, happy new year to you all!" Arabella Kushner, granddaughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, was seen in a video singing in Mandarin while playing with a Chinese lion puppet.
The video was posted by her mother, Ivanka Trump, in her latest tweet on Thursday, saying: "Arabella singing a song she learned for #ChineseNewYear. Wishing everyone an amazing year to come during these days of celebration."
Ivanka even added four Chinese characters meaning "happy new year" at the end of her tweet.
The five-year-old, who now speaks more standard Mandarin than a year ago when she was recorded reciting a poem in the Chinese language, again endeared herself to the Chinese communities worldwide that are celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year starting Saturday, Jan. 28.
On Wednesday, Ivanka and Arabella participated in the New Year reception at the Chinese embassy in Washington.
The mother and daughter's Spring Festival greetings have added to the festive atmosphere created by traditional lion dances, firecrackers, red lanterns and colorful parades in major U.S. cities.
In New York, the top of the Empire State Building turned red and gold in a salute to the Chinese Lunar New Year at sunset on Jan. 26-27. It is the 17th consecutive year for the building to mark the most important annual festival of the Chinese communities worldwide.
The sky over the Hudson River was lit up, the third year in a row, by spectacular fireworks at around at 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 (0130 GMT, Jan. 27). The show designed by China's Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) offered a vibrant visual feast for New Yorkers while conveying ancient festival blessings to the world as a whole.
"This year's celebrations are more lively and enriched as many new traditions, such as the Empire State Building Lightening Show and the fireworks show over the Hudson River, have taken roots here as a result of closer U.S.-China people-to-people exchanges," Zhang Qiyue, Chinese Consul General in New York, told Xinhua.
Zhang made the remarks before the New York Philharmonic Orchestra started its annual Chinese New Year Concert at Lincoln Center Tuesday evening.
For the sixth year running, the orchestra, among its most touted events of January, offered a mix of Chinese folk and concert music with Western concert favorites.
"Eternal Joy," a trumpet concerto composed by Chinese artist Chen Qigang and played by Alison Balsom, made its debut in the United States during the concert.
"The Chinese are coming up so quickly in the classic music world," Philharmonic Principal Flute Robert Langevin told Xinhua before the concert.
"Music is such an international language. It is one way for different countries and peoples to get together and help create world peace," Langevin said.
"The Chinese Lunar New Year has become a universally celebrated holiday," said Shirley Young, chair of the U.S.-China Cultural Institute (USCCI). "It is increasingly a major opportunity for Chinese and American people to appreciate and better understand each other's culture and traditions."
The USCCI and CAFA have been co-hosting the above-mentioned series of cross cultural celebrations over the past three years.
"For me, the most accurate indicator of our bilateral relationship is the readiness and eagerness of the two peoples to connect, understand and make friends with each other. And that, in my view, is the heart and soul of the China-U.S. relationship," said Consul General Zhang.
Apart from the robust China-U.S. commercial ties, people-to-people exchanges between the two countries have witnessed a rapid increase.
Three million mainland Chinese visited the United States in 2016, and about 950,000 made a trip to New York with the Empire State Building on their must-see list, according to the Chinese diplomat.
"There is a flight between China and the United States every 15 minutes. More than 13,000 people travel across the Pacific every day," she said.
Nasdaq stock exchange on Jan. 27 also marked the Chinese Lunar New Year -- the Year of the Rooster -- with a special bell ringing ceremony to kick off the day's trading. It put up pictures of roosters and the phrase "Happy Chinese New Year" on its large digital screens in the Times Square.0 "I did not expect there is so much fun spending the Spring Festival here in New York," Zhai You, vice president of Chinese Painting Society of China's eastern Jiangsu Province, told Xinhua at the Times Square.
"I feel pretty at home though I am thousands of kilometers away from home," he said.