Chinese New Year: Celebrating the Year of the Rooster

Chinese New Year

2017 is the year of the Rooster in the Chinese zodiac. In Chinese element theory, each zodiac year is associated with one of five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire, or Earth, which means that the 2017 Fire Rooster only happens once every 60 years. Fire Rooster’s characteristics include trustworthy, with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work. Other years of the Rooster include 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, and 2029. More on lucky things for those born in a year of the Rooster here.

The New Year, also known as the “Spring Festival,” is the longest holiday in China. Celebrations typically last two weeks, and include many traditions, like cleaning your home leading up to the holiday and dragon dances. People also hand our red envelopes (called yasui qian) as a sign of happiness and good luck. Firecrackers are also set off to say goodbye to the old year and welcome in a lucky new year. The perfect way to celebrate a year prior of hard work and welcome in a prosperous new year. 

Credit: Chinatown Center Austin

Chinese New Year Celebration at Xiang Yun Temple

When: Sunday, January 29, 10:30AM – 35PM

Where: FGS Xiang Yun Temple; 6720 N Capital of TX Hwy, Austin, Texas 78731

More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1096012027188743 

Xiang Yun Temple in Austin is a Buddhist Temple that welcomes everyone to learn and explore various aspects of Buddhism. They offer meditation, yoga clinics, and free Tai Chi / Kung Fu classes. This weekend’s event include a New Year Dharma Service from 10:30AM to noon followed by cultural performances and food from noon to 3PM.

2017 Year of the Rooster Celebration at Chinatown Center

When: Sunday, February 5, 2017, 10am – 6pm

Where: Chinatown Center 10901 N Lamar Blvd Austin Texas 78753 (intersection of Kramer and N.Lamar)

More Info: http://chinatownaustin.com/

Chinatown Center in North Austin boasts over 180,000 square feet of retail space. A true Asian experience with a wide range of authentic restaurants, stores and the largest Central Texas Asian supermarket, MT Supermarket. The day-long celebration includes entertainment provided by The Love of China, Austin Dance India, Hawaiian Kona Isle, Texas Vovinam Viet Vo Dao Martial Arts, April Rain Chinese Dance and the Thien Hau/Linh Son Lion Dance Team. Also accompanying the dragon dances will be martial arts performances and a variety of cultural dances. The teams will continue the celebration from 12-6pm to dance and bring good fortune to individual stores in the center. Festivities will carry on throughout the afternoon starting at 2PM with Summitt Dragon Dance to spread even more good fortune and continue bringing in the New Year! 

There will be a ton of family-friendly activities, including a rock climbing wall, as well as a community resource fair.  Kiwi the Clown will be there for free face painting at the MT Supermarket from 1 – 5PM. Free parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis so carpooling is encouraged. Admission to the community resource fair will be free, but some activities may have their own fees so bringing cash is recommended.

Credit: Chinatown Center Austin

Wells Branch Community Library Dragon Dance Performance

When: Saturday, January 28, 10AM

Where: Wells Branch Library; 15001 Wells Port Dr. Austin, TX 78728

More Info: http://www.wblibrary.org/ 

And some dinner date night celebrations to check-out:

Chinatown Restaurant

When: Saturday, January 28, 2017, and Sunday, January 29, 2017, 6:00PM

Where: Chinatown, Westlake (29) and North (28) Locations

3407 Greystone Drive, Austin, TX 78731

2712 Bee Cave Road, Suite 124, Austin, TX 78746

More info/reservations: http://www.austinchinatown.com/

Sit down dinner kicks-off at 6PM and the dragon/lion dance show begins at 8PM.  Tickets are $80 and reservations recommended. 

Wu Chow Restaurant

When: Sunday, January 29, 2017, 8:00PM

Where: Wu Chow Restaurant, IBC Bank Plaza, 500 W 5th St #168, Austin, TX 78701

More info/reservations: http://wuchowaustin.com/

Wu Chow is downtown and offers dishes representative of all eight styles of Chinese cuisine, as well as dim sum service on Sundays. They have several local farm and ranch partnerships so all ingredients are super fresh. Executive Chef Ji Peng Chen and Dim Sum Chef Ling Qi Wu were both born, raised, and trained in China and incorporate this heritage and history into the menu. The website touts their favorites as Shanghai Soup Dumplings, Salt & Pepper Squid, Yu Xiang Eggplant and Mapo Tofu. The Texas Dragon/Lion Dance Team will be performing at 8PM. Reservations recommended.

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