Lunar New Year celebration returns to welcome the Year of the Fire Rooster

24815253069_e01f4a958b_oFollowing the highly successful first Lunar New Year celebration in Squirrel Hill last February, organizers are proud to co-sponsor the event again and invite you to welcome the Year of the Fire Rooster.

Organizers and partners of the celebration include Uncover Squirrel Hill; Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition (SHUC); JF&CS; Jewish Community Center (JCC); Pittsburgh Chinese Cultural Center; OCA advocates for Asian Pacific Americans, Pittsburgh Chapter; Carnegie Public Library and the Confucius Institute at the University of Pittsburgh.

Lunar New Year begins on Saturday, January 28th, with an afternoon (1 p.m. – 5 p.m.) of live performances, martial arts demonstrations, dance, drummers and other music, acrobatic lion dancers and more at the JCC (5738 Forbes Ave in Squirrel Hill). WQED’s Michael Bartley will serve as emcee.

The Steel Dragon lion dance team will open the festivities. Other confirmed performers
include OCA cultural Youth and adult performance dancers, OCA yo-yos, Yanlai dance
academy, HaiHau Chinese Youth Orchestra from Mt Lebanon, Oom Yung Doe Martial Arts of Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh Taiko, AiLin Chen on the Guchen instrument, Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh dancers, Pittsburgh Chinese School, and Win-win kung fu.

Lunar New Year festivities conclude on Sunday, February 12th, with a parade up Murray
Avenue featuring stunning costumes, music, marching bands and traditional Chinese and Thai dragons. The parade begins at 11 a.m. Grace & Mike Chen, owner of four local Asian
restaurants and founder of the Pittsburgh Chinese Restaurant Association, will be this year’s parade Grand Marshall.

Attendance at both events is free and open to the public. Over the two weeks, participating
Asian restaurants in Squirrel Hill plan to offer special Lunar New Year dishes and deals.
“The partnership that created last year’s first Lunar New Year celebration highlighted this special Asian holiday for all residents of the Pittsburgh region to enjoy,” said Marian Lien, Executive Director of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition. “We continue to gain rich cultural understanding of the diversity of the Asian community. We invite everyone to share in this joyous occasion!”

The rooster is the tenth of the twelve Chinese zodiac, representing both reliability and punctuality. Roosters’ crowing would awaken the ancestors for work. It would exorcise the evil spirits of the night. Ushering in 2017 will mean saying goodbye to the changeability of the monkey and hello to the “being constant” character of the rooster.

Jordan Golin, President & CEO of JF&CS, noted that the event exemplifies the community’s best attributes, its cultural richness and its commitment to diversity and inclusion. “This community thrives because it embraces so many interesting and different cultures,” he said. “It demonstrates that tolerance and good will are the bedrock values of a wonderful place to live and visit.”

Event organizers would like to express sincere thanks to our sponsors: Erie Charitable Giving Network, OCA, Tsingdao and Confucius Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. Read a recent Shady Ave magazine article about Lunar New Year in Squirrel Hill! And be sure to visit the Lunar New Year Pittsburgh Facebook page for details and the latest updates.


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