The Times They Are a-Changin’
This year, at the 88th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, history will be made as “Beauty of Beijing,” the first-ever Chinese-themed float, will be featured in the parade.
The float, commissioned for the Macy’s Parade, was designed in collaboration with the Sino-American Friendship Association, a nonprofit group that promotes cultural awareness between the United States and China. At a Nov. 18 event open to reporters and the community, many journalists and elementary students from the nearby school district attended the float workshop in Moonachie, New Jersey, to have a look at “Beauty of Beijing.”
Shaped like the Great Wall of China and painted in red, a popular Chinese color, the float takes the phrase “Beautiful Beijing Welcomes You” as its theme. It also features the symbolic memorial archway of Nanlou Guxiang, a popular district in Beijing with many siheyuan, or traditional courtyard style houses.
In addition, there is a beacon tower; a lion statue, traditionally placed at the entrance of Chinese imperial palaces; and other ornaments and structures that represent Beijing, such as a canopy placed over imperial carriages. The most central part of the float features the Temple of Heaven, a complex of religious buildings in Beijing first constructed in 1420. Like the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and is among the must-see destinations for tourists visiting Beijing.
Li Li, executive vice president of the Sino-American Friendship Association, said that a marching band, with music that strikes a balance between East and West, as well as a Beijing flag performance and lion dance will accompany the float.
The parade starts at 9am.