Fourteen-year-old Eric was having a good time when he participated in the 32nd Annual Lotus Festival that is being held at Echo Park in Los Angeles on Saturday.
He could not help but cheering loudly time and again whenever Chinese lion dancers pounced, women drummers hit hard, traditional Chinese costume-clad dancers jumped and a bamboo flute was played.
"This feeling is very great," the boy said. "I like Chinese culture very much."
When a group of teenager martial arts practitioners hit, jumped, dodged and stretched their bodies, a hilarious Eric rose, mimicking their movements.
The two-day public carnival is very special, as this is the first time that the event has ever featured arts and culture from the People's Republic of China.
The China-themes event "will give Agnelenos diverse cultural backgrounds, a closer look of Chinese folk dance, music and arts," Zhang Yun, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Los Angeles, said at the opening ceremony.
"The Lotus Festival is one of Echo Park's favorite events showcasing our neighborhood's diversity and spirit," Eric Garcetti, President of L.A. City Council agreed.
The lotus flower is an important symbol of rebirth, purity and life in Chinese and other Asian cultures. The Lotus Festival was first held in 1972 and has served as one of the premier Asian Pacific Islander American festivals in Southern California. It has attracted thousands of local residents, many of them took part in families, every time it was held.
Featuring arts, music, dance and delicious food from China and other Asian and Pacific Island countries, the two-day celebration aims to bring residents together, share and promote diversified Asian cultures. Each year it features a different Asian country.
Media celebrities of Asian descents will emcee the event.
Last year, the event was canceled as the organizers was cash- strapped due to budget woes.
This year's festival was co-sponsored by the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Los Angeles, and City of L.A. Recreations & Park. More than 100 entertainers, volunteer groups, exhibitors and businesses have enrolled to take part.