Lanterns Glow, Dragons Dance Downtown

It's a twilight-time tradition at the Chinese American Museum.

The part of the day that marks the transition from light to dark has all of the prettiest words associated with it: gloaming and sundown and twilight and evening. It's when the lamps begin to come on, or candles if you prefer, so it naturally lends itself to one of the most beautiful traditions behind the welcoming of Chinese New Year.

Or perhaps "farewell" is the better word. Lantern festivals are a part of the annual new year's festivities around the globe. The Chinese American Museum's site says that "Lantern Festival occurs annually on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month to mark the closing of the Chinese New Year festivities."

That date is set for Saturday, March 2. And while there is a party element to CAM's celebration, education and art-making are key components as well. Meaning? The doings happen long before sundown, starting at noon.

On the join-in roster? There's calligraphy, origami, storytime, and Chinese paper-cutting, among other activities.

And when the shadows grow longer? A glow-in-the-dark dragon comes out to dance. Yeah, we want to see that, very much.

So thank you, evening, for lending lantern festivals across the world, and here in our own downtown, the low-lit beauty which makes lantern-lighting and shimmery dragons more spectacular. Pretty things in the daytime but spectacular come nightfall.

Admission is free.

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