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Welcoming the Dragon

Celebrating the Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year 4710!

Have you ever celebrated the lunar new year? If not, this might be a fun year to start. This year is the year of the dragon. The dragon, fifth sign on the Chinese zodiac, is considered the most powerful and lucky sign.  

Lunar New Year is a 15-day holiday, beginning on the first day of a new moon (Jan. 23) and ending with the full moon on the day of the Lantern Festival. While celebrations have been going on throughout the week, this weekend is when most events are held.  

If you and your family are looking for a fun way to kick off the year of the dragon, consider heading down to the district's Chinatown on Sunday afternoon for the annual Chinese New Year Parade. The event starts at 2 p.m. on 6th and I St, with kung fu demonstrations, a dragon dance, a lion dance, costumed dancers and the lighting of a giant firecracker.  

If you prefer something lower key, the Chinatown Community Cultural Center will be hosting a day-long cultural program featuring educational displays, arts and crafts, and music, dance and marshal arts demonstrations.  

At home, help kids make red scrolls with good-luck words written vertically to hang on the walls, and pull out a few pictures of ancestors for special rememberance. Try your hand at making dumplings or another Chinese recipe. For fun, watch the movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Not One Less, or -- more likely in our house -- episodes of Ni Hao Kai Lan. (For children's book ideas, click here)

Whatever you do this New Year, have fun.  Wishing you wealth and prosperity... 

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

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