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Art&Seek Jr: Welcome the Ram With One Of These Chinese New Year Events

by Therese Powell 17 Feb 2015 5:25 PM

Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself.  Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

The candy hearts and Mardi Gras beads have been put away for another year, but this weekend signals another chance to celebrate the new year. That’s right, break out your red envelopes it’s Chinese New Year! The festivities for this holiday begin on the second full moon after the winter solstice, which means in our neck of the woods the celebration of the year of the ram will commence Thursday, Feb. 19.

Speaking of sheep. Ever wonder why animals are part of the Chinese zodiac? A quick Google search will tell you that it was all our pal Buddha’s doing.  According to legend, Buddha called all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came. Buddha named a year after each one and then proclaimed that people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. In case you were wondering, Those born in goat/sheep years (1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, and 2015) are said to be calm, gentle, thoughtful, amicable, persevering, frank and honest.  The bad news is, they are also said to be vain , pessimistic and moody.

Here are a few events to help you and the tinies ring in the new year!

Come feed the hungry lion. Photo: Crow Collection of Asia Art

Come feed the hungry lion. Photo: Crow Collection of Asia Art

The biggest Chinese New Year celebrations in our area will take place this Saturday from 11 to 7:30 p.m. at the Crow Collection of Asian Art. The Crow is pulling out all the stops in their 16th Annual Chinese New Year festival that will happen in the Arts District on Flora Street.  Highlights of this goat/sheep extravaganza include art activities for the kiddos, fortune-telling, a photo booth, a Chinese magician, and best of all…fireworks! There will be dance performances throughout the day, like the Lion and Dragon dances. The Lion dance is a lot of fun because kids can “feed” the lion red envelopes as he works the crowd after the dance. The envelopes contain a dollar or two and are gifts to the dancers for a job well done.  Lastly, come hungry because there will also be food trucks lined up and down Harwood ready to fill hungry tummies with food truck goodness.  This is a popular event, so be sure to get there early as the crowd is expected to surpass 10,000.

You can read more about China’s most important holiday and have a little fun to boot at the Central branch of the Dallas Public Library. Join master artist and illustrator Jennifer Kindert for this Library Live! event where kids will discover how the Chinese Zodiac came to be and learn all about the critters featured on it. Afterwards, make a fun Chinese New Year craft to take home. Check it out this Saturday 2:00 p.m.

The University of Texas at Dallas is welcoming the Year of the Ram with their own Chinese New Year celebration . You and kiddos can enjoy a variety show presented by the Chinese learners from the Confucius Institute, local primary and secondary schools, and local universities.  It all happens this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Alexander Clark Center on the UTD campus.

Happy New Year, y’all!