Welcome good spirits at the Chinese New Year Celebration

The Ent Center is starting off the Year of the Dragon by hosting a gathering of cultural activities, food and performances for the community to enjoy. The Colorado Springs Chinese Cultural Institute is collaborating with UCCS’s DEI Outreach and Education and Asian Studies to celebrate on Saturday, Feb. 17.

The program will hold back-to-back performances at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., including lion dancers, dragon dances, aerial acrobatics, taiko drums, Chinese erhu music by Liping Woods and other special acts. Colorado Springs’ Sun Mountain Taiko group will also be drumming a rhythmic performance.

A tea house will be open for visitors to learn from CSCCI board secretary Angela Ouyang, who will offer taste testing and a lesson in brewing chinese loose leaf tea correctly. Local sculptor Mark Wong will teach pottery lessons and sell his work.

The event is family friendly, offering a space for children to learn how to make traditional Chinese masks and learn how to write their names in Chinese with help from Chinese Language Zone volunteers. There will be food trucks outside the building, and food will be allowed inside during the celebration.

This will be the CSCCI’s 25th annual celebration. According to CSCCI President Rhonda Maehara, the Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in Asian countries and holds cultural significance to those in the U.S. who grew up celebrating.

The CSCCI Chinese New Year celebration is highly regarded by those who find meaning in the celebration. “I got involved because I missed this,” Maehara said. “I know other Chinese [people] want to celebrate.”

The Chinese New Year marks the time to contemplate new goals and experiences, including a two week process where communities come together. The last day of the festival is marked by a lantern festival celebrating the first full moon of the lunar new year.

Maehara believes that elebrating the Chinese New Year guarantees good luck for the participants. “It is a time to make a lot of noise to scare off bad spirits,” she said.

Entrance to the celebration is free of charge. Tickets to the performances are available at EntCenterfortheArts.org and cscci.org, and free to children under five.

Photo by Lauza Loistl on Unsplash.