Sedona, Arizona—February 5, 2011
On February 5th the Sedona community enjoyed a unique opportunity for cultural exchange when the Sedona Korean American Association hosted a Lunar New Year Festival. Visitors and residents alike marked the day with games, food, film and well wishes for the community.
This ancient celebration during the first two weeks of the Lunar has been enjoyed by billions of people in Asia and various Asian communities in North America. However, the Year of the Rabbit has introduced the celebration as a new tradition for the Sedona community. Usually, the Lunar New Year festival is a time for families to be reunited, for special meals and special ceremonies honoring ones ancestors. Sedona got a taste of the Korean version of this holiday at Mago Healing Center.
Attendees were treated to a variety of cultural experiences: including traditional Korean Folk games, personal Calligraphy, Lunar Zodiac readings, and a Korean film. Delicious Korean, Thai and Chinese dishes and items for raffle were provided by local merchants. The crowd was also treated Korean Folk Dance performances by Arirang, a Tucson-based Korean folk dance troupe. In addition to the games and entertainment there were speeches and presentations. The Mayor of Sedona offered words of support and a congratulatory message from the Korean Consul General of Los Angeles was delivered by the President of the Arizona Korean Association..
The day was topped off with a presentation on one special inter-cultural inspiration for this group, honoring veterans of the Korean War. Several Korean War Veterans attended the event and some told the audience their time in Korea, while members of the Association paid special tribute to those veterans in the Korean manner of honoring elders as part of the New Year tradition. In addition, Association President Banya Lim presented a proposal for a Korean War Veterans’ Monument here in the Verde Valley. This proposal was encouraged by Ilchi Lee, Sedona resident and long-time supporter of the Sedona Korean American Association, who is donating $10,000 toward the Monument’s fund.
As the rabbit is a symbol of longevity and fortune in many Asian cultures, the year of the rabbit is said to provide a respite after the intensity of the previous year of the tiger. This bodes well for the Sedona and the Sedona Korean American Association, introducing this tradition during a peaceful year.
About the Sedona Korean American Association:
The Sedona Korean American Association is a non-partisan, community-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It is dedicated to serving the Sedona community, particularly the needs of its Korean-American residents. It endeavors to promote inter-cultural understanding, educational activities, and preserve the unique beauty of Sedona.