Trinity Church Wall Street hosted a lantern-making workshop to celebrate the Lunar New Year during the twice-weekly Compassion Market. Attracted by the decorations and designs, many visitors to the market stopped to make a lantern while waiting for their turn to get free groceries and a Red Packet (“Hong Bao”).
“The lanterns are so beautiful,” said Yokun, a Chinatown resident. “It’s not easy to make the lantern, but I enjoyed it.”
Yokun said it was great to make these lanterns for her own neighborhood.
Most of the lanterns were made in red and yellow, symbolic colors for the Chinese New Year celebration. People could decorate the lanterns with paper-cut stickers representing the zodiac of the coming new year, the Year of the Rabbit. Some lanterns had Chinese and Yiddish characters, reflecting the history of the Lower East Side.
“Two large immigrant groups share so many streets,” said Alexandra Aron, Artistic Director at Remote Theater Project and designer of the lanterns. “How can they also support each other, ally with each other, and fight against anti-Asian and anti-Semitic violence?”
Trinity’s Compassion Market has been a key element of support to the various neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan, in keeping with Trinity’s 326-year history in New York City.
“We’re thrilled with the progress that Trinity’s Compassion Market has made serving our community, not only with food and groceries but also a space to celebrate culture and collaboration,” said Vidia Cordero, Deputy Chief Community Impact Officer at Trinity Church Wall Street.
During the celebration of Chinese New Year, the Chinatown Business Improvement District (Chinatown BID) will organize a series of events for Chinatown residents and small businesses. Thursday’s lantern-making with Trinity and Remote Theater Project was one of those events.
“We are so close to each other, but we didn’t have a connection,” said Rosie Li, Special Project Manager at Chinatown BID. “We want to use this opportunity as a starting point to foster more collaboration in the future.”
According to Li, all the lanterns made at Trinity will be sent to local businesses in Chinatown to put on their storefronts. On January 27, community members will gather at 4pm at the Chinatown Information kiosk at 166 Walker Street (Triangle of Canal, Walker, Baxter Streets) to walk together and watch the lanterns being installed on Mott and Elizabeth Streets.