"Happy Chinese New Year," a cultural brand initiated by the Chinese government to promote Chinese New Year culture overseas, is looking to integrate with overseas Chinese celebrations.
"With the support of Hubei provincial government and Wuhan municipal government, we are able to host the celebrations continually for almost 10 years," said Frank Bo, president of Voice of Peace Chorus, based in Fremont, California.
A variety of shows rehearsed by Bo and his team were staged Saturday night at the Jubilee Christian Center in San Jose, California.
Sponsored by the Hubei Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese and the Foreign Affairs Office of Wuhan City, the show invites more than 20 professional performers from China to give performances alongside local artistes.
The performances include solo singing, dances, comic skits, Peking opera and chorales. It is expected to attract an audience of more than 3,000 people, according to Bo, who is also an advisor of the show's organizing committee.
"The Chinese New Year has become popular beyond the Chinese community in recent years," said Bo. "We have seen larger and larger audiences every year."
The brand of "Happy Chinese New Year" has been committed to attracting Americans to share in the festivities of the Chinese New Year since it was first introduced by China's Ministry of Culture in the United States in 2010.
The Chinese New Year has been increasingly embraced by the American public. This year, dozens of cultural events, including variety shows, concerts, parades and exhibitions, are being organized in the San Francisco Bay Area, home to one of the largest Chinese communities in the United States.
San Francisco is the first U.S. city that has observed the Chinese Lunar New Year since early Chinese immigrants arrived here more than 150 years ago.
"It is quite different to celebrate the Lunar New Year here. We Chinese usually observe the holiday in our own community and it's not a public holiday, which means we don't have the day off," said Bo.
But he has seen changes in recent years. "At the major department stores and shopping centers, like Macy's and Costco, there are Chinese New Year decorations and the tradition(al) food is available," said Bo, who has lived in the United States for over 30 years.
Bo's chorus, composed of amateurs though, has performed at some big companies, like Yahoo and Wells Fargo, an American international banking and financial services company, as wells as community centers and hospitals to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
"We are proud that more Americans are aware of the 'Happy Chinese New Year' brand," said Bo. "It will take some time for them to really understand the culture."
Last year, China hosted more than 2,000 "Happy Chinese New Year" events in over 500 cities of over 140 countries, according to Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco.