Woof! Ways to Celebrate 2018: The Year of the Dog
Written By Rachel Hunt
Traditions are an important part of every culture, but to insure a year of prosperity the Chinese celebrate with a few rituals that have become recognized staples within the Midwest for everyone to appreciate. Whether you choose to attend a citywide parade, see a traditional staging of the Lion Dance, or be mesmerized by fireworks lighting up the night sky, each of these events have foundations in practices that have been around for thousands of years.
Toys, games, food and influential Chinese community members will speak at this gathering, which takes place in Westlake. Hosted by the Chinese Academy of Cleveland, the school has been around since 1976, teaching their students through immersive techniques.
The Cleveland Chinese Music Ensemble often join us during our NMCLE season! They’ll be presenting a special presentation entitled “Darkness Into Light” for the Chinese New Year. The performance will feature guest artist Jerry Rockwell on mountain dulcimer.
A true Cleveland tradition, the Kwan Family has performed the Lion Dance during the Chinese New Year for the last 35 years. While they have many different performances scheduled, their shows at Li Wah have remained a crowd favorite.
Stone Soup CLE is a non-profit that links local restaurants, farms, groceries, food vendors and pop-up pantries to those who need them most. By rescuing prepared dishes, packaged food and fresh produce, they ensure that thousands of pounds of edible food will end up on plates as nutritious meals and not in landfills. The theme for the gala is the Lunar New Year with a Chinese buffet and performance by the Cleveland Chinese Music Ensemble, as well as a reverse auction.
Watch fireworks blasted off over Freiberger Field from behind the huge glass windows of the new Tinkham Veale University Center. Popular Asian snacks, green tea, and hot chocolate will be served to both students and community members. The first 300 students with an ID in attendance will receive a small stuffed dog to commemorate the occasion. Wear red and you’ll be surprised with red envelopes filled with prizes and good fortune.
A fun twist on commemorating the Year of the Dog, Wooster Therapy dogs will be available to interact with, as well as crafts and activities to engage kids of all ages at Local Roots Market & Café.
Our friends in PinkSoda K-Pop dance group and Yin Tang Dance Company will take the floor at this party with face painting, balloon artist, games and much more.
Starting at 12 pm, you can see your favorite performers the Dragon and Lion steal the show! A ritual to bring good fortune to the New Year, you won’t want to miss it. Learn about the differences in connotation and the execution of both of the dances.
Hosted by an organization committed to cultivating a dynamic Asian community in Greater Cleveland, this is a discounted ten-course meal. Fear not, you can still catch the Lion Dance and delicious food at Li Wah with a reservation if you are not a part of this group. They will also be taking orders for club T-shirts.
Hosted by the Confucius Institute at University of Akron, a dinner will be served at the Akron Art Museum between 6 and 8 pm with performances to follow at Akron Summit-County Public Library.
The Confucius Institute along with the Chinese American faculty and staff at Cleveland State University, bring thousands of attendees each year performances of cultural music, dance, martial arts and more. Open to students and community members.
Chinese organizations from all over will present at this very special event hosted at Cleveland Public Auditorium. Organized by communities from Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo, the event will feature folk art and dance performances, vendors, activities and more.
Last year the OCA Dragon Dance Team wound their way around the court during a rousing half time performance receiving a standing ovation! We can’t wait to see what the Cavaliers have in store for this year’s Chinese New Year appreciation night.
Kumo Buffet will be running a Lunar New Year specialty menu from February 16th on, but come in on this day in March to eat for a good cause. Money goes to the North Royalton-Broadview Heights Rotary Club.
If you celebrate at home you can do as little as wear red, a color meant to ward off evil spirits in observance of the holiday, or hang out with family and friends. Read up on Lunar New Year festival days using CWRU’s Kelvin Smith Library research guide or investigate the significance of your Chinese Zodiac sign. It may be the Year of the Dog, but 2018 is sure to have something important in store for us all.
Wish your friends “happiness and prosperity” for the New Year: 恭喜发财 / 恭喜發財 (Gōngxǐ fācái), pronounced “gong-sshee faa-tseye” in Mandarin or “gong-hey faa-chwhy” in Cantonese!