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Pelham Art Center To Ring In Chinese New Year

A girl shows off her paper lantern.
A girl shows off her paper lantern. Photo Credit: Contributed

PELHAM, N.Y. -- If you see a dancing lion outside the Pelham Art Center (PAC), don't worry, your eyes aren't fooling you.

The famous, colorful, dancing Chinese lion will be but one part of the PAC's Chinese New Year celebration on Saturday, Jan. 25.

In conjunction with the Pelham Junior League, PAC will be ringing in the Year of the Horse at their first Chinese New Year celebration in two years.

"We've had to cancel this event a few times due to inclement weather," public program manager Gail Heidel said, "But hopefully this year everything will work out."

According to Heidel, from 10 a.m. to noon, paper-craft workshops will be held in which participants can create a Chinese lantern or a traditional banner decorated with calligraphy.

Then, at 11:15 a.m., members of Kwan’s Kung Fu of Peekskill will perform a traditional Lion Dance, believed in Chinese culture to scare away evil spirits and to bring good luck.

The lion will joyfully dance its way around the room and interact with the crowd. Children can feed the lion red envelopes filled with whatever they like if they wish to bring good luck in the new year.

According to Heidel, the children will also parade with their newly made lanterns when the lion makes its way outdoors.

The Lion Dance program includes an educational introduction of the dance, an interactive performance, followed by a question and answer period.

The celebration is part of PAC's Folk Arts Series, and is free and open to all ages.

The Chinese New Year is a traditional Chinese holiday that starts with the new moon on the first day of the lunar new year and ends on the full moon fifteen days later.

Each year is named for one of twelve symbolic animals: rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar. Jan. 31, 2014, marks the beginning of the Year of the Horse, ending Feb. 18, 2015.

The Horse is the seventh sign in the Chinese Zodiac cycle.

Those born in the Year of the Horse are said to be, "energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able."

The Pelham Art Center is located at 155 Fifth Ave.

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