Thursday, June 30 2022

HOUSTON – The Chinese Community Center’s Lunar New Year celebration is an annual tradition in Houston.

According to organizers, last year’s one-day event drew at least 12,000 visitors.

This year, while the pandemic is not yet over, the Party becomes virtual. And it starts Thursday afternoon on CCC’s YouTube channel and ends Saturday.

“We are very grateful that we can, at least now, organize the celebration online,” said Mei Li, director of cultural / community development at CCC. “So there is a celebration – it’s just in different forms. And we also encourage people to stay home and watch our programs with their families. “

Organizers began to consider the potential of a virtual Lunar New Year celebration last summer and finally decided in December that this should be the way to do it, at least for this year.

“At that time the pandemic was unfolding, so we thought if it didn’t go away in the summer, in the winter it wouldn’t improve as quickly,” Li said.

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Usually the event is organized into three parts for a one-day event: the stage for various performances including lion / dragon dances, an outdoor bazaar with local food vendors, as well as a seating area for children with games and activities.

“Because it’s virtual, we divide it into three days of celebration,” Li said. “Obviously you can’t watch (worth) events all day – it’s very tiring. “

The organizers had their reasons for creating the format in the order they did it. As it will already be Lunar New Year in Asian countries on Thursday evening, the first day is all about food to commemorate the people who come together to celebrate. The CCC has prepared pre-recorded videos to help showcase which foods come from which regions, including an instructional video on how to make dumplings from scratch. Performances, including traditional lion / dragon dances, take place on Fridays. The most educational part of the cultural elements of the Lunar New Year comes on Saturday. There will also be interactive games with prizes awarded.

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And while the face-to-face interaction doesn’t happen in person, there is an advantage to having an audience beyond Houston with the virtual format.

“Until maybe last week, I didn’t even think about it,” Li said. “But this year, since we started promoting on Facebook and many platforms, I keep getting messages. , phone calls or emails from people out of state. I say to myself, oh wow, yes! Because it’s online, we can celebrate, (and it isn’t) just people out of state. They are also people from outside the country.

“Many of my colleagues have also sent the links to their friends in the United States in their hometowns. So people can enjoy together! So in a way, although we are not physically together, but imagine with this internet tool, the whole Earth – people can get together and party. I’m really happy with it and it’s a nice surprise.

Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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