In 2016, the first Chinese New Year celebration was held in the town of Orange.
Last February nearly 400 members of the community came together to ring in the Year of the Monkey. Dressed in traditional Chinese garb, they gathered to watch students and adults alike perform to Chinese songs and to enjoy classic Chinese foods.
This year they will celebrate the Year of the Rooster.
The Chinese New Year Festival is the biggest celebration of the year to usher in wealth, abundance, and happiness. Lanterns and words of prosperity decorated the gym of the Community Center, giving off an authentic feel to the experience.
Organizers of the community believe that the event was the first step to promote multiculturalism in the region, so that different nationalities can learn about each other and be exposed to Asian heritage.
The night concluded with a total of 14 performances comprising of dances, songs, kungfu, and classic Chinese instrument. Performances included the artistic “Dui-Hua” dance by children of Orange’s elementary schools, powerful martial-arts exhibits by the students of the Wu Dang Kungfu Academy, gracefully choreographed pieces from the Mulan Art School and Butterfly dancing troop and the Yale Chinese Chorus.
It was a great event to celebrate Asian cultures and to bring to light the growing Asia community within Orange. According to program coordinators Zehua Xia and Ying Peng, the event was not limited only to those in Orange. “Families from all over Connecticut wanted to come. We were setting an example for many other towns, but we just didn’t have enough room to accommodate them all!”
This Saturday, Feb. 25, the second annual event will take place at the High Plains Community Center beginning at 4 p.m. The event is free but advance reservations are required — Due to its popularity, it may already be filled to capacity.
If you are interested in attending, you may take a chance and send an e-mail to ChineseOrangeCT@gmail.com.
— By Jennifer Zhuang