As people around the world celebrated the Chinese New Year, USF student Hikari Nitta performed with the Pegasus Vanguard and the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps in Hong Kong. The Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the Spring Festival, and the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year parade is one of the major anticipated celebrations in Hong Kong.
The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, is a festival celebrating the beginning of the New Year on the traditional Chinese calendar. The first day of the New Year begins on the new moon that appears between the January 21 and February 20. This year began on Tuesday, February 5, marking the year of the Pig.
Although the Lunar New Year only runs officially for three days, colloquially it is celebrated for up to two weeks.
The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps are part of the Bluecoats group, an organization devoted to providing musical education programs to youths. The Bluecoats are made up of 150 men and women between the ages of 15 and 22. The Pegasus Vanguard is another marching band based out of Hong Kong
Nitta collaborated with the Pegasus Vanguard on her performance, which took place within four performance zones in front of 155,000 spectators.
The parade is followed by two days of exhibition shows and traditional practices. One such practice is posting a wish at the wishing tree at Lam Tsuen. People write down their wish, tie it to an orange, and throw it into the tree. The higher the orange snares itself into the tree, the better the chances of the wish being fulfilled.
The performance space at zone two is a small strip of tile flooring situated in front of a vast expanse of audience seating. Two rows of pink tape mark the space where the performers are to stand. The performance space is lit up from top-to-bottom once the performance starts, as lights and fireworks displays light up the sky.
“Pegasus is a band that gives me the opportunity to play in Hong Kong, because marching bands in Hong Kong are pretty rare,” said Bryan Lau, performer and vanguard member.
Cathay Pacific Airlines has sponsored the event for the past two decades. Their mission is to, “promote a diversified travel experience in Hong Kong,” thereby bringing the world closer together.