The recent Chinese New Year celebration can be an inspiration for forming similar events in Lowell to bring the community together.
The Chinese New Year is a holiday that is celebrated not only in China, but also in many other parts of the world. With it comes the famous red envelopes, delicious foods, and astounding events. During the celebration, streets are packed with people who are eager to watch the professional lion dancers perform their traditional dance. Loud drums echo through the air as the people cheer on the performers. Fireworks commemorate the Chinese zodiac animal that symbolizes the new year. After all the action packed events, there is still the lantern festival which occurs at the end of the celebration. At this event, countless floating lanterns are lit up, giving the mesmerizing illusion of a million stars in the night sky.
With a celebration as fascinating and popular as this, one might wonder why there have not been many events similar to this in Lowell. In Providence, Rhode Island, there is an award winning festival called WaterFire, in which braziers burned above the river flowing through the Waterplace Park and creates breathtaking views. Every year, it draws tens of thousands of people from all over the country. This promotes the local businesses in the area. Through improvisation of the Merrimack river and our waterways, it is a possibility for Lowell to host similar spectacular events that could boost the economy. Additional benefits of hosting such events are the appreciation for the history of Lowell, especially among the younger generations, and encouragement of the community to get involved. Points of Light Lantern Celebration currently borrows a few elements from these events to spectacular effect. We can bring even more aspects of both Chinese New Year and WaterFire to Lowell.
Hosting community wide events is essential in the effort to make the City of Lowell even more active and vibrant. Not only do they provide entertainment for the people attending, events help preserve the history of Lowell and its many historical buildings. The Merrimack River and the canals of Lowell have the potential to become famous attractions as popular as the Seine River of Paris or the River Thames of London. Reply to let us know what elements from Chinese New Year, WaterFire, or your favorite festival we should bring to Lowell!
-Oudong Chhean, Staff Intern