Temple City Celebrates the Lunar New Year

A Lunar New Year Festival was held at Temple City Park.

Written by AVA CHENG / Published February 18, 2011

While Chinese New Year fell on February 3rd this year, Temple City kicked it off early on Saturday, January 29 with a festival at Temple City Park. The festival, co-sponsored by the Temple City Chinese American Association, had activities such as lion dancing and Chinese ballet, to craft booths for kids and free food.

A group of lion dancers started off the festival. As part of the performance, Mayor Fernando Vizcarra brought a head of cabbage and a red envelope for the lion to ‘eat,’ a traditional part of the lion dance. The group consisted of a group of local Temple City High School students, performing around the community. This was their first performance of the season, and they will be performing at other places around Temple City. Senior Thomas Choi and his friends organized the group this year, and are hoping to pass on the tradition to the next year’s seniors.

Another performance was held by the Shin Dance Academy, a local studio, who performed a Chinese ballet. Chinese ballet differs from the original form of ballet in that it involves more intricate hand movements.

A few martial arts groups also performed. The Shaolin Kung Fu Association showcased small children performing forms and battling with weapons such as spears and staffs, and had their grand master perform one-fingered pushups.

Food, like chow mein and pop corn chicken was provided by restaurants in Temple City, such A Golden House and the Bull Demon King Cafe.

Distinguished officials from both the city and the political districts were present, to give a small speech and to take place in the formalities. Each city council member said a few things about Chinese New Year and wished the audience luck and prosperity, and Councilman Vincent Yu, the only Asian member on City Council, spoke in Chinese.

Also present was Congressman Adam Schiff, who had just returned from his office in D.C.

Members of the Youth Committee presided along the booths, giving surveys to young residents to gain a better understanding of what the youth want in Temple City, more specifically in the downtown Las Tunas area.

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