|Deputy Consul General Liu Jun Attended Chicago Bulls' 2018 Chinese New Year Celebration|
On the evening of February 22, 2018, Chicago Bulls hosted for the first time a Chinese New Year celebration during a game at its home court as part of Chicago’s “Happy Chinese New Year” events. Deputy Consul General Liu Jun, Consul Zhang Min of Cultural Affairs, Chicago Bulls’ Vice President Scott Sonnenberg, Chicago Bulls’ Senior Manager Will Syring, and more than 20,000 audience watched the game and enjoyed wonderful Chinese cultural performances brought by the Huaxing Art Troupe of Chicago.
Chicago Bulls played against Philadelphia 76ers at the United Center. Decorations featuring Chinese Spring Festival elements as well as "Happy Chinese New Year" logos were seen everywhere around the stadium. Chinese lion dance performance warmly welcomed visitors at the entrance of the stadium. Chicago Bulls’ staff and volunteers wore T-shirts with "Happy New Year" printed in English and Chinese. Light strips and screens around the stadium displayed “Bulls, Happy Chinese New Year” in Chinese. The big screens at the center of the stadium displayed information introducing players from both teams in Chinese and English. During half-time break, cheerleaders danced wearing Chinese-style costumes. Distinctive symbols of Chinese culture and rich festive atmosphere deeply impressed everyone in the stadium.
Before the game, the organizers invited renowned Chinese tenor Mr. Tong Tao to sing the American national anthem. After the first period of the game, the Bulls declared that evening a special celebration of the Chinese New Year of Dog, expressing their gratitude to the Chinese Consulate General in Chicago for its generous support and conveying best festive wishes to all the fans and audience. Deputy Consul General Liu Jun and Vice President Sonnenberg greeted the audience through live broadcast.
During the halftime break, the Huaxing Art Troupe of Chicago presented a 10-minute lively and festive Chinese art performance to the audience. Golden dragon dance, Chinese martial arts, unique ethnic dance and costume show amazed the audience, winning a standing ovation from the audience and ever-louder rounds of cheer and applause.
During the game, Deputy Consul General Liu Jun talked with Vice President Sonnenberg. Liu Jun said that the Spring Festival is the most important traditional festival for the Chinese people, and bears rich cultural connotations. Chinese people at home and abroad all pay special attention to this festival. The Chinese Spring Festival is also increasingly becoming an global festival. Chicago Bulls enjoys high popularity in China. The Bulls' successful "Happy Spring Festival" celebration at its home court has not only helped more American friends understand the culture of Chinese New Year, but also played an important role in further enhancing mutual understanding between the two peoples.
Vice President Sonnenberg said that this is the first time that Chicago Bulls have co-hosted a "Happy Spring Festival" event with the Chinese side. The wonderful celebration showcased the unique charm of the Chinese culture. There was a large audience today and the atmosphere was especially delightful. He added that Chicago Bulls would continue to strengthen its cooperation with China in the future and hope to organize more cultural events in cooperation with the Consulate.