Lunar Year of the Tiger celebrated at Mall of America
By Will Ahern | contributor
Although the pandemic has dampened the ability to gather and celebrate together, the Lunar New Year was recently celebrated by many Chinese communities throughout the world. This year, however, Mall of America joined in the celebration by holding its own 30-year anniversary.
The Year of the Tiger is not only celebrated in mainland China. Any location with a large Chinese population such as Hong Kong, Macau, London, Taiwan, Toronto and Vancouver. In the U.S., Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco all have their own parades and activities welcoming the new year.
Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., created a wonderful venue for the Twin Cities’ Chinese American community to celebrate with two days of performances. Dance, music, martial arts and song filled the Huntington Bank Rotunda with joyful energy on the weekend of 12th and 13th of February.
The annual event was especially buoyant. The audience was attentive and abundant in the Rotunda. Not since pre-pandemic has this sort of turnout been witnessed. The performers sensed a new day as they were particularly energetic and meticulously costumed. This year was truly about putting last year behind and looking forward to a new, better year.
The action-packed two-day program started off with a dragon dance winding through the entire Rotunda and concluding on the stage. This boisterous performance brought the attention of people nearby on ALL levels of the mall to catch the goings on. Twenty performances each day made for a colorful spectacle of exuberance and optimism.
Alliance of Minnesota Chinese Organizations and Minnesota Huaxing Arts Group were producers of the Lunar New Year event. ♦
Minnesota Chinese International School (MICS) welcomes Year of the Tiger
MICS welcomed the Chinese New Year with multiple celebrations held on January 30th at the Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center located in Bloomington, MN. In addition to traditional lion dances, red packets, performances, lucky draws, silent auctions, great food, and cultural activities, the school also celebrated the award ceremony of their First International Cup! Passing through the red arches that framed the entrance to the Masonic Heritage Center, the festivity of the Spring Festival of the Year of the Tiger is evident as you
strolled through the halls as all of your senses are awakened with the sights, sounds and aroma that permeate the air. Affected by venue restrictions and the pandemic, MICS limited its invitations to a few VIP guests and leaders of local organizations and businesses but many happily showed up to safely and responsibly participate in the celebration. In addition to the carnival aspect of the new year celebration that included the taking of family photos and the custom of passing out of red envelopes, there were art exhibits, a temple fair, a silent auction along with many musical performances culminating the first ever International Cup. ♦
Legendary Spice Hot Pot
Legendary Spice Hot Pot on University Ave., in Minneapolis recently hosted a Twin Cities Dumpling Feast to celebrate the Year of the Tiger and to expose the Chinese culture and holiday culture to the mainstream society, promote mutual appreciation and understanding, encourage cultural exchanges and further strengthen the friendship between China and the US. It featured a fun experience of guests learning how to wrap Chinese dumplings, dumpling tasting, Chinese riddles, Chinese music, etc. Although the event was limited in attendance by COVID-19 guidelines many VIP guests from the Twin Cities political, business and educational fields, as well as leaders from the local Chinese and Hmong communities got together to enjoy a unique cross-cultural, festive Chinese New Year celebration. The event was jointly sponsored by the Association of Sino-American Neo cultural Exchange, Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society, US-China Peoples Friendship Association – Minnesota Chapter and Legendary Spice Hot Pot. ♦
Minnesota Orchestra presents Lunar New Year World Premier
The Minnesota Orchestra performed a pair of Lunar New Year concerts on February 5 and 6, with conductor Junping Qian leading the Orchestra in music that honors family traditions and themes of unity and health. The Feb. 5 concert included the world premiere performance of Gao Hong’s Guangxi Impression Concerto for Pipa and Orchestra, with the composer as soloist. The Feb. 6 “Relaxed Family Concert” was a slightly shorter version geared toward families. ♦
Twin Cities Chinese Dance Theater (TCCDC) performs “Rhythm of Spring IV”
Twin Cities Chinese Dance Theater (TCCDC) performs “Rhythm of Spring IV” TCCDC celebrated Chinese Year with the “Rhythm of Spring IV” performance that was free to the public at Fridley High School. The well-known and well-established dance theater in the local Chinese community, TCCDC has executed many wonderful Chinese dance productions and won high acclaims by audiences of all kinds. ♦
CAAM-Chinese Dance Theater presents “Songs of Home” at St. Kate’s O’Shaughnessy
The Chinese Association of Minnesota CDT’s production, “songs of Home,” showed the potential of Chinese dance and its capacity to move us towards the future through renewing our heritage with the spirit of innovation. Attendees were able to experience ancient Chinese poetry and music from China. New and old friends of Chinese art forms were able to appreciate the radiating beauty from the convergence of dance, music and poetry. ♦
Urban Exhibition at the Landmark Center journeys to China
Urban Expedition returned in-person for its 18th season with a journey to China. On Feb. 20. Guests were invited to get their free Urban Expedition passports and collect a stamp at each Urban Expedition activity for a chance to win a prize. This event was done in partnership with CAAM Chinese Dance Theater.
Urban Expedition is a part of Sundays at Landmark Center in St. Paul, an event series that is produced by Minnesota Landmarks, the nonprofit programming and management agency for Landmark Center. Urban Expedition is sponsored by Ramsey County, Ecolab, and Xcel. ♦