Arcadia Lunar New Year Festival


Kali Tam, Staff Writer

On Jan. 19, the City of Arcadia hosted the Annual Lunar New Year Festival in the Performing Arts Center Courtyard from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to give local residents a chance to celebrate the special holiday. People who attended the event became immersed in the “wonderland of Chinese culture” by watching engaging performances, participating in fun activities, and more! Tickets were sold at $5 per person, and the event was free for children who were 2-years-old or younger.

Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Lunar New Year, is the celebration of a new year based on the traditional Chinese calendar. Unlike the Western calendar, the Chinese calendar revolves around the phases of the moon, which is why the date for the celebration often falls on different days every year. This year, the day falls on Feb. 5. Typically, people prepare for the celebration a couple of weeks in advance by executing traditional customs and practices, and many of these activities were featured at Arcadia’s Lunar New Year Festival.

There were several activity stations that allowed participants to make lanterns and fans, create paper cutting decorations, practice calligraphy, and paint porcelain. Not only were there stations that helped people to participate ‘hands-on’ to celebrate the new year, but there were also plenty of captivating performances by different groups. Lion, qipao, and folk dancers gave people a chance to experience what traditional Chinese culture was like, while a performance by the Arcadia High School String Quartet allowed them to have a more Westernized feel. Junior Justine Williams, who is a member of this chamber group, gave us an inside performer take and expressed that an “outdoor Swarovski stage was set up for the festival,” where they “performed the classical pieces Brandenburg Concerto #3 and the Grand March from ‘Tannhauser’” for the audience. She added that “chamber groups usually play background music, but this gig allowed [them] to perform in a recital-like environment, which was a nerve-wracking but fun experience.” The festival was extremely entertaining for both the performers and audience. Of course, no celebration is complete without a way to give back to others. The hosts of the event announced that attendees of the festival would receive a free raffle ticket if they donated a new book to the library book drive!

This Lunar New Year Festival was definitely a great way to allow the residents of Arcadia to get together and celebrate this prominent holiday. If you missed out on the event this year, don’t worry, because there will be another one coming up next year!


Photo courtesy of ARCADIAPAF.ORG