The following is a lightly edited press release from the Pier Corporation.

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier will fire up the Ferris wheel for the “Year of the Dragon” 90-foot-tall “Lunar New Year” celebration featuring an animated “Green Dragon,” “Happy New Year” in Mandarin, and displays of holiday red and gold colors, patterns, transitions and icons.

The Lunar New Year display will begin tonight at sunset, roughly 5:30 p.m. and will continue through the weekend. The Ferris wheel light celebration can also be viewed online at

Lunar New Year is a celebration of the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunar calendar. In Chinese culture and East Asian countries, the festival is commonly referred to as the Spring Festival or simply, Chinese New Year. Los Angeles is home to over 800,000 Asian Americans, the city’s 3rd largest cultural subgroup. Lunar New Year is celebrated across the globe.

The dragon is one of the twelve animals included in the Chinese zodiac and the Lunar New Year. It is also the only mythical creature in the Chinese zodiac. It is a symbol of strength, good fortune, and imperial power. Those born in the year of the dragon are believed to have these characteristics along with intelligence, ambition, and charisma.

The Pacific Wheel’s 174,000 LED lights are mounted on the Ferris wheel’s structure including the 40 spokes and two hubs. The world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel’s lighting system features 16.7 million color value combinations while the programming and display software presents imaging up to 24 frames per second to display dynamic, custom, computer-generated lighting entertainment. The eco-friendly, enhanced LED lighting provides 81 percent greater energy savings than most Ferris wheel’s traditional incandescent bulbs.

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