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Local dance association marks Lunar New Year with traditional Lion Dance

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Posted at 6:55 PM, Feb 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 18:55:00-05

Celebrations of the Lunar New Year are underway for many traditional East Asian countries.

The Southern Lotus Lion Dance Association celebrated the new calendar year Saturday at Saigon Noodles in Lafayette.

The Lunar New Year began Friday, and marks the first new moon of the lunisolar calendars traditional to many east Asian countries including China, South Korea, and Vietnam. 2021 is the Year of the Ox.

"This year is the year of the ox. We have lion dancing, it's to warm up the new year, bring good fortune, bring good luck, its a time of celebration. it originated back in China, and spread throughout Asia," explained Jimmy Do, Assistant Director of Southern Lotus Lion Dance Team.

The dance team has adopted characteristics from various ethnicities to make it their own, like Vietnamese lion dancing and Malaysian lion dancing, and other types of styles from different regions.

"The lions, the bright colors, the fireworks, the instruments just make you feel alive. A part of the culture, a part of the community," said Do. "It definitely builds character, it reminds us who we are and where we came from."

As the New York Times explains, "A solar year - the time it takes Earth to orbit the sun - lasts around 365 days, while a lunar year, or 12 full cycles of the Moon, is roughly 354 days."

Do adds that the history and culture of lion dancing are an art that are being passed down to future generations.

"You kind of want to look at it like a karate school or a martial arts school, where we are just teaching the foundation, the art of lion dancing, and passing it on from generation to generation."

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