Fairfax County residents will again ring in the Lunar New Year with a taste of Asian culture on Jan. 24 and 25 at Luther Jackson Middle School. Upon entering lantern gates, participants will experience live dance performances from Korea, Cambodia, Thailand, and China, along with martial arts demonstrations, the dragon dance, Chinese checkers, and lessons on cooking sushi and other traditional favorites.
The fun filled celebration of the Year of the Ox is free, perhaps one of the reasons the first event in 2008 was so popular. “Last year, we had a much larger turn out than expected. So this year we have planned many more activities,” said Ting Tang, Vice President of the Asian Community Service Center (ACSC).
In particular, she noted more games for children and a parade. “If children come wearing an Asian costume we will welcome them to participate in the parade.” Tang noted “We made a giant ox so kids can try to put on its tail. Children also play games using a blindfold, where they attempt to touch the center of a circle with a drumstick. She explained that she had introduced this game at an elementary school. “They laugh when they see how far away they are.” She added excitedly, “A few lucky kids will even get to try the dragon dance themselves.”
Several local elected officials, including candidates for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairmanship and Congressman Gerry E. Connolly (D-11), are expected to join in on the celebration. The newly elected congressman stated, “Fairfax County is an incredibly diverse community and it has contributed to the fabric of society. Citizens of the 11th district are fortunate that they have the opportunity to participate in or attend a wide variety of cultural events including a celebration as meaningful as the Chinese New Year festival at the Luther Jackson Middle School.”
Christine Lyons, Luther Jackson Middle School’s Community Use Coordinator, noted that the event provided a great opportunity for students who could volunteer as guides and run some of the activities. “Luther Jackson is very fortunate to have been selected for the location of the ACSC Chinese New Year celebration. It was such a success last year that it will run for two days this year. Working with ACSC on the festival has led to an enriching experience for our students and their families. I am not sure what is more exciting to watch, the dragon parade through the school or how much fun everyone is having”
There will be a number of exhibits, tasty Asian dishes, games, paper crafts, and a ping-pong competition, among the attractions. Visit www.chinesenewyearfestival.org for further details.
Lunar New Year Celebration
Hosted by the Asian Community Service Center
Saturday, January 24, 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 25, 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Luther Jackson Middle School
3020 Gallows Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
Phone: (703) 868-1509