Phoenix Chinese Week
The Chinese Cultural Center and Phoenix Sister Cities have teamed up for the 25th Phoenix Chinese Week. Festivities will be all weekend long event in Downtown Phoenix to commemorate the Chinese New Year.
Instead of being held directly at the center, the Phoenix Chinese Week will be held at Margaret T. Hance Park.
The festival will start Friday at noon with a Grand Opening ceremony. The ceremony will have live entertainment and traditional performances.
After that, the weekend continues with a variety of festivities.
The festival offers table tennis, volleyball, Taijiquan, and Weiqi tournaments, which are open to all skill levels. A Mahjong booth will be set up for people to witness and given try the ancient game.
Other attractions for the festival include a Koi fish exhibit, history booth and photo and art displays.
Food pavilions will be on site to offer a taste of authentic Chinese cuisine.
The festival is open Feb. 13 9 a.m.-3p.m., Feb. 14. 10 a.m.-5p.m., and Feb. 15 10 a.m.-4p.m. Admission and parking to the event is free.
Chinese New Year Show
The Chandler Center for the Arts will also host a special event in honor of the Chinese New Year.
The Chinese New Year Show is presented by the Eastern Art Academy at the center. The show will feature traditional dances, instruments, and martial arts performances.
Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is a Chinese tradition for families to renew family values and connections over the course of 15 days.
The history of the festival has been challenged. When Jesuit missionaries began to arrive in China in the late 1500’s, they brought the Western-style Gregorian calendar with them.
Although the calendar was widely used in China starting in 1912, it wasn’t until 1949 that Chinese leader Mao Zedong declared that everybody had to use the new Gregorian calendar.
All was not lost though. In 1996, the new leaders of China were more willing to celebrate their heritage. As a result, they instituted the Spring Festival, which utilizes the same values held in the traditional New Year.
A different zodiac animal marks the characteristics for each year each year. There is a 12-year cycle of animals. This is the year of the ram, which is the 8th animal in the cycle. Generally, people born in this year tend to avoid stress and prefer peace and freedom.
Chinese New Year is an event that is celebrated around the world. Outside of China, San Francisco, Calif., is home to one of the largest celebrations in the world given their high Chinese population.
To prepare for the New Year, families often clean their homes to rid them of bad luck.
People generally wear red throughout the festival because it is a sign of luck. Black is avoided because that color is associated with death.
The traditional festival concludes with the parade of lanterns.
This event is Feb. 15 at the Chandler at 4p.m. Tickets are $15 or $25.