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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2010 Year of the Tiger: Chinese New Year Festival


Feb 20th; 11 am to 4 pm at the Boutwell Auditorium.

Chinese game / Chinese food / Acrobat performance
Chinese music performance / KongFu / Dance

The Birmingham Chinese Festival Association will have a giant festival, parade and reception this Saturday at the Boutwell Auditorium and the Birmingham Museum of Art.  It's from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  It's all free.

10:45 Dragon Parade outside
11:00 Fireworks

Afterwards, children can experience the Chinese culture first hand with games, crafts, entertainment and more, inside.  There will also be calligraphy booths so children can learn to write their names.

There will be Chinese food, acrobat performances, music, KongFu and dance.

At 4 p.m. the party will move to the Birmingham Museum of Art with a free reception to honor an art contest then families can get a free tour.

     According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian or "Year" in Chinese. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to devour livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year and believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. Once, people saw the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red, they then understood that the Nian was afraid of color red. Hence, every time when New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and spring scroll on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten the Nian and from then on, the Nian never came to the village again and was eventually converted by Hongjunlaozu, a Taoist in the old time, and became his mount.