January 22, 2014

Mayor Emanuel Announces Citywide Celebration of the Chinese New Year

Celebrations in Chinatown and Across the City Run January 31- February 14; Expected to Grow to be the Largest Celebration of Chinese New Year in North America

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Choose Chicago announced today a citywide celebration of the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, one of the most ceremonious and celebrated festivals in Chinese Culture. The celebration, which is a major new initiative as part of Mayor Emanuel’s ongoing efforts to foster tourism around Chicago, runs from January 31 through February 14 from Chicago’s downtown Loop to Chinatown to communities across the City. The celebration will continue to expand year over year and is expected to grow to be the largest celebration of Chinese New Year in North America.

“A city-wide celebration of Chinese New Year is a wonderful way to bring together Chicagoans from around the city while attracting visitors from around the world,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This unique event will grow and expand over time until it is the largest in the North America and will be a prime example of creativity and innovation as we seek to grow tourism and create jobs in the city of Chicago.”

“The citywide celebration of the Chinese New Year will be complete with key signature events and special programming that everybody has a chance to participate in, no matter what neighborhood they live in," said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “The celebration is part of the Mayor's ongoing strategy to foster tourism by promoting large-scale events and efforts that have international reach and impact.”

“China is one of Chicago's fastest-growing overseas markets,” said Don Welsh, President, Choose Chicago. “This year, the year of the horse, the Chinese New Year falls on Jan. 31 and will be celebrated during a two-week period, an opportunity for us to engage new communities, that is why the celebration will be unlike those in other cities, because rather than concentrate the festivities in Chinatown, there will be activities all over the City of Chicago.”
The 2014 Chicago Chinese New Year Celebration runs from January 31 through February 14, 2014 and will be heavily promoted around the United States and overseas -- especially in China -- and is expected to draw increasing numbers of visitors on an annual basis. Additionally, as the celebration evolves year over year, more and more parts of Chicago are expected to join in the celebration. It will truly be "city-wide."

Below are new elements that will be included as part of the Chinese New Year celebration:

Chinese New Year Lightscape
January 31- February 2
A multisensory experience on State Street, with light displays and music to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Shadow Play Lighting Up Spring Festival
January 31-February 24
Macy's on State Street Window Installation on Randolph St. at Michigan Ave.
As a unique artistic form combining traditional Chinese craftsmanship and drama, shadow play is an integral element of the splendid Chinese traditional art. By using the elements of shadow puppet and shadow play, the window display promotes Chinese traditional culture to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

January 31-February 2 * 5-10 pm
Millennium Park Ice Rink
Free Admission
Experience Millennium Park's Ice Rink as a canvas of colorful shades and hues, transforming into ever-shifting palettes of red, blue, green, yellow, and magenta for an immersive and playful experience of shadow.

Spring Light
January 31-February 2 * 5-10 pm
Chicago Cultural Center
(Michigan Ave. façade)
A celebration of light and projection inspired by Chinese philosophy, art, architecture and traditional folklore illuminate the Chicago Cultural Center to commemorate the Chinese New Year. "Spring Light" transforms the building into a moving world where images of nature, people, geometry and color all intertwine in an artistic and harmonious balance.

Chicago Chinese New Year Celebration at Navy Pier with Redmoon Theatre
Saturday, February 1st, 6:00-7:30pm at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom Free Admission
Navy Pier's beautiful indoor space will include poetic ritual environments featuring intermittent performance by Chicago-based Chinese cultural partners, masked performers, interactive creation stations, and spectacle devices. The Chicago Cubs will be sponsoring a fireworks display at Navy Pier that will include primarily red fireworks (with some silver and gold mixed in).

January 31 . 1-9 pm . Free
February 1 . 1-5 pm . Free
Between Lake & Randolph
Take a celebratory photo with the iconic Chicago Theatre as your backdrop. Send your photos to friends & family via social media.

To learn more about the 2014 Chicago Chinese New Year Celebration, visit