This year, China’s all-important Spring Festival begins on Feb. 10 and ends with the Lantern Festival on Feb 15. It takes place not just in China, but in any Asian country with a significant Chinese population (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Mauritius, Korea, etc.), and in Chinatowns all across the globe.
The Vietnamese Tet celebration occurs simultaneously; both festivals celebrate the beginning of the lunar new year, and it is the major festival in Asia.
As the end of the Year of the Dragon draws to a close, the Year of the Snake begins; in 2013, the cycle refers specifically to the Water Snake, a sign indicating influence and insightfulness, motivation and intellect, while exhibiting cunning and resolute determination in terms of business and success. The water snake is affectionate and loyal with friends and family, but conceals this side with business associates.
At New Year's, Chinese traditions dictate there are innumerable tasks to be performed, gods to be appeased, with superstitions that guide actions, and loads of different foods that are eaten to ensure fortune and good luck in the coming year. It’s not just a one night or one day celebration; festivities stretch over a number of days. In Austin there are several outlets to channel your spring lunar festival celebrations.
The Chinese Society of Austin will be hosting a New Year Celebration dinner at Royal Buffet Restaurant (1813 W. Parmer Ln. Feb 2, 6pm to 10pm.
Toy Joy (2900 Guadalupe) will be hosting the Texas Dragon/Lion Dance Company for their own celebration Feb. 3, 2pm.
Austin's major Lunar New Year event in town is held annually at Chinatown Shopping Center, at the intersection of N. Lamar and Kramer Ln. For more information, contact MT Supermarket (454-4804; www.mtsupermarket.com) The annual event is Feb 16, 10am to 6pm.
PS: Be sure and check out the newly released Year of the Snake kicks from New Balance (M1574CVG), Nike (“Cortez”), and Converse (All Star Chucks Year of the Snake).
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