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A huge thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate the 3rd Annual Lunar New Year event! It was a gorgeous day for lantern making, hot tea, lucky red envelopes, a lion dance and community fun! Thanks to Commissioner Josina Morita, Mayor Daniel Biss and our community partners Main Dempster Mile, Evanston Pride, Studio 3, and Evanston Public Library for helping to make the event a success! Shout out to Pink & Tan and Coco Design & Build for hosting activities and to our fearless volunteer translators Wendy, Ling and Limin.

Wishing everyone a joy-filled, healthy, peaceful Happy Lunar New Year!

Lunar New Year Brings Evanston’s Asian American Community Together

Daily Northwestern

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Thank you to Studio 3 for hosting Lantern Making Workshops at
Pink & Tan!
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Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year is a celebration of the first moon in the lunar calendar.  It is celebrated by over 1.5 billion people around the world and is a major holiday in countries such as China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Tibet and Vietnam.  It is also widely celebrated by ASPA communities in Canada and the United States.  Many also call the holiday Chinese New Year due to its origins dated back 3,500 years ago.  There are many traditions associated with Lunar New Year and they differ depending on the culture, but for most, it is a celebration of new beginnings and good fortune.  Observances involve family gatherings, traditional food and clothing, prayer and worship, pageantry, and fireworks.  This is the year of the rabbit according to the Chinese zodiac.  Based on Chinese astrology, the zodiac consists of 12 animals that represent characteristics of the coming year and people who are born under that sign. 

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What is the Chinese Lion Dance?

In Chinese culture, the lion symbolizes power, strength, wisdom, and superiority.  The lion dance (mou si 舞獅 in Cantonese and wǔshī 舞狮 in Mandarin) is one of the most important traditions during Lunar New Year.  Dating back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), the lion dance chases away evil spirits and brings good fortune for the new year.  The dancers are typically highly skilled performers who are martial arts practitioners dancing to the beat of drums, cymbals, and gongs.

Lion Dance Symbolism

3 Bows

As the lion begins its dance, it will bow three times, each one representing heaven, earth and man. After the dance is over, the lion will once again bow three times.

Lettuce Offering

Lettuce or other type of green produce are offered to the lion during the dance.  After “eating” the lettuce, the lion will spit it out, which represents the lion spreading wealth, prosperity and good luck.


On the forehead of the lion is a mirror, or shield, which is used to repel negative energy and evil. A lion might also have a horn on its head, which is also used to fight evil.

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