By Alec Escarcega
Riverside once again hosted an event to celebrate the Lunar New Year, making it their 10th annual celebration of the holiday. Lunar New Year is the beginning of a calendar year with months being coordinated by cycles of the moon.
The event included a variety of performances including the Lion Dance and Shaolin Kung Fu.
More than 100 local street vendors also participated in the event serving attendees new fusion dishes as well as traditional Asian dishes. Artists displayed their work and art along with the vendors in attendance.
Many residents of Riverside and visitors from the Inland Empire surrounding areas came to support and partake in the festivities. Security and law enforcement were present all around to not only keep the event safe but to put the minds of everyone at ease following the tragic shootings in Montebello just a few weeks ago. Everyone in attendance was in good spirits and continued on with the celebration.
The weekend kicked off on Saturday with Shaolin Kung Fu, the Lion Dance, and an opening ceremony to commemorate the 10th-anniversary celebration as well as to pay respect to those lost celebrating the holiday in Montebello.
This Lunar New Year is the year of the rabbit which is associated with the moon and is supposed to symbolize longevity, prosperity, and luck.
Throughout the day, there were musical performances by Team Korea K-pop, Nicole’s performing group orchestra, and Alina Hernandez.
The festival presented a variety of events and activities that promoted not just the diversity of the Asian American community but the inclusivity of all interested with welcoming energy.
One noticeable theme throughout the city was the use of red decorations. I talked to locals about the color use and its relation to the Lunar New Year and was told that it is considered to be a color that is lucky and signifies warding off evil.
The Dragon Dance was a highlight and a great way to start the event on a high note. The dance is said to have originated in China and was often performed during religious events.
With each celebration of the Lunar New Year, there is plenty of food and activities to engage in, and this year was no different. From lamb skewers, steamed buns, dumplings, and flame-grilled squid-there were more than enough food options to satisfy the cravings of all attendees.
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