Greeting the lunar new year is an act brimming with power and joy and movement and merriment, and few things symbolize all of those qualities better than the traditional lion dance.
It is fitting, then, festively so, when a lion dance opens a ceremony that's all about welcoming the year to come and all of its promise. And this traditional and powerful performance will open the USC Pacific Asia Museum's fifth annual Lunar New Year celebration, and it shall set the tone for a day filled with art and opera and acrobatics.
The undulating opener isn't the only centerpiece of the free festivity, which shall unfurl, like a colorful mythic lion, on Saturday, Jan. 31. The museum shall welcome "a delegation of 42 performers and traditional artisans from the Guangdong Province in China, and will also showcase the cultures of Korea, Cambodia, and Vietnam."
What to do, where to go and what to see
The setting? A very capacious tent in the parking lot of the museum, which will also say hello to a number of food trucks.
The performances? Taekwondo, Vietnamese dances, Korean dances, and acrobatic and opera showcase from the visitors from Guangdong are all on the schedule.
The making of crafts and more? You'll learn how to construct a lantern, and how to embroider, and calligraphy, and ceramics. And, for sure, there shall be sheep-oriented crafts, as we head into the Year of the Sheep.
If this is your first visit to the USC Pacific Asia Museum, hop onto a tour of the museum after taking in a dance performance or two. But be there by 11 a.m., if you can, to catch the always epic, feel-inside-your-chest lion dance. It is an auspicious way to say hello to the Lunar New Year and the good things to come.