Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Denver Celebrates Chinese New Year 2012

Monday Jan. 23 is the first day of the Chinese New Year, the year of the Dragon, in the year 4710. There are many Chinese New Year celebrations around Denver, but we consider the best to be the FREE lion dances performed by the Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu Association at the Far East Center, at Federal and Alameda. Shows are Saturday Jan. 28 noon, 2:30PM and 3PM and Sunday Jan. 29, noon.  More info here. These are LOUD shows with plenty of firecrackers and great gymnastics. Check here for other Shaolin Hung Mei holiday peformances around town.

Our tips? Wear red, the color of the New Year. Make sure you get there early (333 S. Federal) but don't even try to park in the Far East Center lot. You will have to find neighborhood street parking, and it is crowded, so be prepared to hoof it. Also you need plenty of time to peruse the fun Far East Center shops and pick up your basic Feng Shui accessories, dragon figurines or delicious teas. There are plenty of restaurants, but if you're low on funds be sure to hit the affordable and amazingly delish Celestial Bakery. (Cash only for anything below $5 but they take credit cards for anything above that amount. bakery.) Try the Cha Siu Bao (barbecue pork buns) or their highly addictive sesame balls stuffed with red bean paste.

There are a lot of family-centric Chinese New Year's celebrations around town, and here are the Denver Post's listings. And here  is a website detailing more about the holiday and its traditions. 

Another affordable way to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Denver? The second day of the Chinese New Year is considered the birthday of all dogs, so I see it as a great excuse to throw your pooch a party. Perhaps an extra visit to Wash Park or a few extra belly rubs for the dog, along with a bottle of wine. Well, I guess you'll have to drink the wine. See? It all works out. Happy New Year!

Remember, the year of the Dragon should be a year for great deeds, innovative ideas and big projects. The dragon is believed to suppress the wrong doers of society, thereby bringing peace and prosperity to the community. It is considered an advantageous time to begin new business and social projects.

People born in the year of the dragon are vibrant and enthusiastic. They are generous and have many friends. The dragon is a symbol of strength and energy. It is not a domestic animal and cannot be tamed easily, so peeps born in the dragon year will love outdoor activities and are good risk takers. They are not good at taking orders and can be stubborn.

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