As the Year of the Horse comes galloping in, people around the world will be celebrating with family and friends, food, fun, festivities, and fireworks. Right here in the International District, the celebrations will fill the streets with colorful parades, dances, costumes, martial arts demonstrations, games, contests, and artistry.
The Lunar New Year is a very important festival in the Asian American community, not just to immigrants or first generation residents, but to second, third, and fourth generations, too. It gives older people some grounding and keeps our cultural heritage and traditions alive for the next generation. It even draws non-Asian people into the fray to enjoy the excitement party atmosphere.
The Internet and increased global travel has piqued interest in Asian cultures. Parents go out of their way to expose young children to different cultures, and high schools and colleges are expanding courses in Asian studies and languages to meet the demands of American students.
As different cultures mix and the number of interracial families increase, Asian Americans have more opportunities to share their rich culture (and delicious food) with mainstream America. Saturday’s festival is a great reason to spend the day in the International District and see those traditions in action.
The past year ended not so good for community members still dealing with the aftermath of the fire that burned out so many businesses in the Hudson Building on Christmas Eve. We hope the New Year will bring them success in rebuilding their livelihoods. It will take a lot of hard work.
We wish everyone a happy New Year filled with good fortune, good luck, and good health. (end)