“The Lunar New Year is celebrated by a many countries in Asia — it’s a big event there,” said Eve Low, president of Mountain House Asian American Association. “Our hometown is so far away, and many get homesick. This helps to keep them from getting homesick.”
Often called simply Chinese New Year, the Lunar New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, such as mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Tibet, the Philippines and Taiwan.
Saturday’s event marked the beginning of the Year of the Horse, one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac.
Low explained that the celebration in Mountain House each year features entertainment and cuisine from a variety of Asian cultures.
“Mountain House is a very multicultural people,” she said.
Among the entertainers Saturday were the Mountain House Suzuki Strings, Hanwool Korean School, Halau Hula Ikaika Ohana ’O Ka’awai dancers of Tracy and a Chinese yo-yo master, Rui Ye.
One of the highlights was a lion dance performed by Lion and Dragon Dance Association of San Francisco.
A symbolic tradition to chase away evil spirits, the dance was a delight to both young and old attendees as the performers moved through the crowd in colorful costumes.
Although Saturday’s celebration was only the third in Mountain House, Low said it gets bigger and better each year.
“I think it went great,” Low said. “We know it’s successful when you see the kids and older folks happy.”
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.