Lion dance and celebration of Chinese cultures mark Year of the Rooster

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Workshops, talks, demonstrations, and — of course — a lion dance will highlight the celebration of Lunarfest 2017 on Saturday, Feb. 4.

Lunarfest celebrates the Chinese Year of the Rooster, which began on Jan. 28 and will continue through Feb. 15, 2018. The rooster is one of 12 animals celebrated in the Chinese culture, based on the lunar calendar. It is considered a symbol of fidelity and punctuality.

The event is organized by the New Haven Museum, the Yale-China Association, and the Council on East Asian Studies.

As is traditional, Lunarfest 2017 will begin with a Lion Dance, down Whitney Avenue from Grove to Trumbull streets 10–11:30 a.m. During the parade by the Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute’s lion dance troupe, audience members will present the lions with red envelopes, which are symbols of good luck and prosperity. There also will be entertainment by local performers at the intersection of Whitney and Audubon streets.

The theme of this year’s Lunarfest program is “Regions of China,” and there will be activities highlighting the diversity of cultures within the nation 1-4 p.m. at three venues:

New Haven Museum, 114 Whitney Ave.: hands-on Chinese crafts and demonstrations of martial arts, dance, traditional musical instruments and more. The Lunarfest Finale Performance will also take place there at 4 p.m.

Henry R. Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave.: Chinese poetry reading, “Mandarin & Cantonese — What’s the Difference?”; theater workshop with Chinese artist Tai Chi; folklore painting and more. The Kunqu Chinese Opera will present a performance and discussion at 2 p.m. This Luce Hall programs are sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies.

Yale-China Association, 442 Temple St.: Lunarfest information center; “Festival Foods in China” exhibit; activities include making candy, red envelopes, and fans.

All events are free and open to the public on a first-come basis. Organizers ask that those planning to attend fill out this form so they can anticipate the number of people coming to the events.

Later that day, the Yale-China Association will celebrate the launch of a new Changsha-New Haven Sister Cities partnership with a reception 5-7 p.m. at the Presidents Room in Woolsey Hall, corner of Grove and College streets, and the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars will host its Spring Festival Gala of Chinese music and dance 7-9:30 p.m. in Woolsey Hall. Click here to purchase tickets to the reception and/or the Spring Festival Gala.

Lunarfest 2017 is sponsored by the International Association of New Haven; Asian Network @ Yale; Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs; Great Wall Restaurant; New Haven Independent; Koffee on Audubon; Katalina’s; and the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Yale.

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