Chinese New Year: The year of Rabbit. Happy New year China! The new year in the China named after rabbit begins on Thursday!

2011 is the year of Rabbit starting Thursday 3rd February and on Wednesday ends the year of the Tiger. The lunar horoscope says the rabbit is naturally happy and a homebody. In China, there’s no housecleaning on New Year’s Day – it would wash away the good fortune.

New York’s Empire State Building lit up its tower red and gold to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year on Wednesday.

“The lights on top of the Empire State Building, carrying the spirit of peace, cooperation, prosperity and harmony, have played an important role in promoting intercultural understanding and people-to-people exchanges between China and the United States,” said Dong Xiaojun, Deputy Consul General of the Chinese Consulate General in New York. Joseph G. Bellina, General Manager of the Empire State Building, said that “the red and gold, representing happiness and wealth, will illuminate the city sky, spreading good fortunes in the New Year for all.”

Since 2001, an annual lighting ceremony of the Empire State Building for the Chinese Lunar New Year has been held as a tradition. The lighting this year will last till Thursday night. At 1,454 feet tall, the Empire State Building is known as the ” World’s Most Famous Office Building” and it has always stood as the flagship of New York City’s skyscrapers.

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