Yale and New Haven usher in Year of the Horse

Lunarfest, an event offering cultural programs for adults and children, will take place on Saturday, Feb. 1 in celebration of the Chinese Year of the Horse. 

The festival kicks off at 10 a.m. with a troupe from the Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute performing a traditional lion dance on Whitney Avenue between Grove and Trumbull streets. Three local groups — the Educational Center for the Arts, Yale Wushu, and Southern Connecticut Chinese School — will also perform during the celebration to bring good luck and prosperity to the New Haven community.

Lunarfest is co-sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale, New Haven Museum, and the Yale-China Association.All events are free and open to the public; registration is required.

The festival continues from noon to 5 p.m. with an array of hands-on workshops and events, including presentations of traditional and modern Chinese music; traditional Chinese dance lessons with the Yale undergraduate group Phoenix Dance Troupe and the Xi Wang Dance Troupe; a Chinese calligraphy workshop; and a painting demonstration.

The horse is one of 12 animals used in the Chinese lunar calendar. The Year of the Horse begins on Jan. 31, 2014 and ends on Feb. 18, 2015.

Lunarfest events will take place at Henry R. Luce Hall at Yale (34 Hillhouse Ave.), New Haven Museum (114 Whitney Ave.), and the Yale-China Association (442 Temple St.).

To register and view the complete schedule of events, visit www.yalechina.org/lunarfest. Rain date is Saturday, Feb. 8.

The Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University promotes education about East Asia both in the college curricula and through lectures and workshops, conferences, cultural events, and educational activities open to faculty, students, K-16 educators, and the general public. Support for this day of Chinese arts and cultural programming has been provided by a Title VI National Resource Center Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The New Haven Museum, founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, is currently celebrating 150 years of collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history and heritage of Greater New Haven. Through its collections, exhibitions, programs, and outreach, the museum aims to bring over 375 years of New Haven history to life.

The Yale-China Association inspires people to learn and serve together. Founded in 1901 by graduates of Yale University, the organization seeks to foster long-term relationships that improve education, health, and cultural understanding in China and the United States. It envisions a U.S.-China relationship of mutual understanding and profound respect nurtured by collaboration among individuals and institutions.