The Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel will be lit red and gold on Friday, January 20 to Sunday, January 22 to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit.
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.
Pacific Park is celebrating Lunar New Year on the Pacific Wheel by featuring red and gold patterns and icons from popular Lunar New Year celebrations.
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 every winter. 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit.
This special lighting event will take place on the evening of Friday, January 20 to Sunday, January 22. The Ferris wheel lights can be seen from dusk until 11:35 PM each evening. Enjoy watching the light program online at www.pacpark.com/live.
Special Lighting of the Pacific Wheel for Year of the Rabbit
Friday, January 20 to Sunday, January 22
dusk (around 5 PM) to midnight
Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier
The rabbit is the fourth in the twelve-year cycle of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The sign of Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture. Those born in rabbit years include 2023, 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951 and so on. Some celebrities who are rabbits include Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan, and David Beckham. According to Chinese astrology, Rabbits are predicted to be gentle, quiet, elegant, and alert as well as quick, skillful, kind, patient, and very responsible, sometimes reluctant to reveal their minds to others and having a tendency to escape reality, but always faithful to those around them.
Each of the 12 characters of the Chinese zodiac have colorful fables. Legend has it that in ancient times, the zodiac Rabbit had a long, furry tail. Every day, he liked to curl his tail round himself and sleep comfortably in his hole. When hungry, he would stick his head out and lazily eat the green grass at the entrance of his hole.
It didn’t take long for the grass on the entire hillside to be eaten up by Rabbit, revealing a bare hole. One day, a wolf noticed the bare grassy slope and found the place where the rabbit lived. It was quietly lurking in the grass not far from the entrance of the hole, preparing to ambush Rabbit.
When the sun was up, Rabbit woke up hungry and ate the grass beside the hole as usual. The wolf bit into Rabbit’s long tail , and only then, Rabbit reacted and kicked his hind legs vigorously. When the wolf was kicked in the face, its sharp teeth bit off Rabbit’s tail with its own forceful reaction. After the wolf was knocked unconscious for a few seconds, it immediately gave chase in the direction of Rabbit.
At this moment, a roar came from the sky and a little white dragon stepped between Rabbit and the wolf. He stopped the wolf who was chasing the Rabbit. Rabbit’s instincts made him not stop to think about it, and just use his last ounce of strength to escape.
Eventually Rabbit could barely run any more. Just as he was about to rest under a tree for a while, he seemed to see Ox standing behind the line, Rat on Ox’s head, and Tiger behind the Ox… It turned out that Rabbit had accidentally crossed the finish line of the zodiac sign race. When he woke up, he found 11 animals surrounding him, as well as the little white dragon who helped Rabbit escape the wolf’s mouth. Therefore, in the ranking of the zodiac, Rabbit comes fourth and Dragon ranks fifth.
Pacific Park regularly programs the Ferris wheel to display seasonal programing and themed light designs for holidays and special occasions. The Pacific Wheel’s state-of-the-art lighting package was installed in 2016 and can display over 1.6 million different colors and animate patterns and icons in 24 frames per second. The energy efficient LEDs on the face of the Ferris wheel are powered by solar arrays inside Pacific Park. The light programs are curated and designed by Pacific Park staff. Each design is manually animated; some designs can take hours of programming. The aim is to provide fun, high-energy, and sometimes whimsical designs to entertain guests on the Santa Monica Pier and surrounding beaches.
Feature image courtesy of @rughead8