A Quincy Tradition — 25th Annual Lunar New Year Festival To Be Held on March 10

By Quincy Asian Resources

More than 8,000 revelers are expected at North Quincy High School on Sunday, March 10 (originally scheduled for Feb. 24) for one of the biggest Lunar New Year festivals in the region.

The 25th Quincy Lunar New Year Festival presented by Quincy Asian Resources and sponsored by South Cove Community Health Center and many other local businesses, will open at 10:30 a.m. with a traditional Lion Dance followed by hours of entertainment, exhibits, activities and information for people of all backgrounds and cultures.

The festival is just part of the global celebration of the Lunar Year of the Snake. Snakes are revered as good omens in the Chinese zodiac and are considered to be intuitive, refined and graceful.

This year’s festival features a Family Area with crafts, games and physical activities for kids organized by the South Shore YMCA; a Cultural Area with painting, Beijing Opera costumes and a mahjong contest; a Green Area sponsored by State Street to educate visitors about the environment; and a Chinese Wishing Tree where people can ask for their dreams to come true.

All of that accompanies a full day of traditional music, singing, dancing and martial arts exhibitions by talented performers from across the community and across the cultural world.

Free parking at several locations around North Quincy High School, a large food court featuring traditional foods, and more than 200 volunteers from the community will help to make this an event you will enjoy and remember.

The entire festival is free to the public thanks to Presenting Sponsor South Cove Community Health Center, along with dozens of other businesses, community organizations, and government and social service agencies, many of which will be available with information tables within the exhibit area.

In the event of bad weather, the event will be rescheduled for March 10 with announcements on local media channels. More information is available at www.quincyasianresources.org.

About Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is an enormously important celebration for the Chinese. The Chinese New Year gets determined by the chinese new year calendar and therefore it is sometimes called the Lunar New Year. Often, the people in China take weeks of holidays so that they can enjoy being with their family and friends. This is one tradition that, although it has undergone some changes, still has a tremendous traditional following.

On the first day of the Chinese New Year, legend has it that the Chinese New Year God ascends to heaven to pay the Chinese people’s respects and also provide an update on the cleanliness of their homes the Jade Emperor, who is known as the supreme Taoist deity. Because of this, many Chinese avoid having meat on the first day of the New Year, believing this will ensure healthy and happy lives for them. The 2nd day is devoted to their ancestors, and praying to all the gods. Also on this day, people feed dogs as it is believed that the second day is the birthday of all dogs. The 3rd and 4th days are for the sons-in-laws to offer respect to their parents-in-law.

The 5th day is known as Po Woo. On that day people stay at home to welcome the God of Wealth. It is customary not to visit families and friends on the 5th day because it will bring both parties bad luck. From the 6th to the 10th day, the Chinese greet acquaintances, relatives and friends and wish them a happy and prosperous year ahead. They also visit the temples to pray for good luck, riches and health.

The 7th day of the New Year is the day when farmers display their harvest. They make a drink from 7 types of vegetables to commemorate the occasion. The 7th day is also believed to be the birthday of human beings. It is customary to eat noodles and raw fish for long life and success. The 8th day of the festival involves another family reunion dinner, and at midnight they offer prayers to Tian Gong, the God of Heaven.

The 9th day is the day of make offerings to the Jade Emperor. From the 10th through the 12th day of the festival friends and relatives are invited for dinner. A typical food to serve is the tang yuan, a type of dumplings made of sweet rice rolled into balls and stuffed with either sweet or spicy fillings. This tradition is also specially followed on Chinese New Year time.

The 13th day, people eat simple rice congee and mustard greens (choi sum) to cleanse their system. The 14th day is spent in the preparations to celebrate the Lantern Festival also known as Shang Yuan festival which is to be held on the 15th night.