彩神appAPPLantern Festival celebrations enjoyed by Chinese, Americans in Houston

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HOUSTON, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese language center in Houston, the fourth largest city of the United States, held the Lantern Festival on Thursday evening, attracting hundreds of local Chinese and American students and their parents.

Decorated with all kinds of red lanterns, Talent Academy transformed into a party hall. In the celebrations, activities such as Chinese calligraphy, paper cutting, face painting, and fishing games were enjoyed by children and their families.

The game of resolving riddles is typical for the time-honored Chinese festival. In the school hallway, dozens of riddles were written on paper hanging on big lanterns for visitors to unravel. Many parents said this is a good way to teach their American-born children of traditional Chinese culture.

Local accountant Brenda Cheney brought her mother Penny Cheney to the celebrations. In her 70s, Penney wore a red scarf with traditional Chinese embroidery. She told Xinhua she loves Chinese culture and has been collecting Chinese decorations for decades.

"I just like it and keep collecting it and I think I have been collecting it for about 50 years now. My daughter gave me this last week so it's just appropriate to wear it tonight," she said.

The celebrations also featured performances of Peking Opera and lion dance. Peking Opera artists from Tianjin, China, performed Goddess Scattering Flowers and Broken Bridge, drawing applause and cheers from the audience.

Houston's James Knight came to the celebrations earlier to save seats for his family. "I want to make sure my son who is half Chinese got to experience some of these," he told Xinhua.

"I think it's very important for American people that don't have any connection to any Chinese people to understand how important the Chinese culture is," he said.