By Carlos Gallego
AAP staff writer
CHANHASSEN, Minn. (Jan. 28, 2012) — Chanhassen High School served as venue for the first major Chinese celebration in Carver County.
Minnesota International Chinese School and Chanhassen School District celebrated the Year of the Dragon is considered the luckiest of years on the Chinese zodiac. This, along with continued growth of Chinese calling Minnesota home has led to an increase of celebrations this year.
Aside from the many celebrations throughout the Twin Cities, Asian restaurants also lured families with their special menus or dishes with many running month-long special. Many families and revelers alike attended numerous events hoping to capture the luck of the dragon.
The ever popular Hui’s Lucky Lion Dance Team provided the dragon entertainment. This troupe is a local staple throughout New Year’s celebrations; additionally many store owners invite them to attend their grand opening in hopes of bringing their business luck.
Nearly 500 attended this festive event. The audience was primarily Chinese and mostly elders connecting with friends or families with young children celebrating the festivities with some of the children dressed in red and/or brand new clothes as it is custom that on New Year’s one is to wear brand new clothes.
There were many games and traditional activities at the event including a game in one tosses small stones in the air and tries to catch them before they fall, calligraphy and paper dragon making stations. Six restaurants vendors serving a variety of Chinese food in addition to a vendor selling Costco Pizza catering to the ‘Americanized’ palate of some of young attendees.
There were more than 30 vendors including: Hospitality Center of China, Association of Minnesota Chinese Physicians, Chinese Senior Society and the event host, Schools of Eastern Carver County. Several departments and clubs from the University of Minnesota represented as well including: China Center and the Confucius Institute were in attendance.
In addition to the vendors, several dance and martial arts schools provided entertainment in the school’s auditorium.
This year Lunar New Year’s Eve was on January 22, and New Year’s Day on Jan. 23. Also, in China there has also been a spike in excitement. According to CCTV(Chinese Central Television) reports on Jan, 27, 2012, newscasts sales throughout China has increased by 16 percent since last year, The Year of the Rabbit, despite many interviewed noting that prices of goods were significantly up compared to last year.