|Written by Lu Stitt|
|Monday, 23 January 2012 00:00|
Tom Hood/Larson Newspapers
Banya Lim and other members of the Sedona Korean-American Association will host their second annual Lunar New Year Festival on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Uptown. The festival will include Asian food, folk games, traditional Asian entertainment and other activities.Tom Hood/Larson Newspapers
Led by fourth-grade student Kristian Trujillo, 9, children from LouAnne Scott’s class at West Sedona School practice Wednesday, Jan. 18, with a 40-foot long, hand-crafted dragon for their upcoming Chinese New Year celebration. The 32 students from the class will parade around campus with the dragon for fellow students to see Monday, Jan. 23.
The new year may only be a few weeks old, but for many Asian cultures the new year won’t begin until Monday, Jan. 23 — the Lunar New Year.
The Lunar New Year will be celebrated around Sedona with a festival at the Brain Respiration Clinic in Uptown, an open house at Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in West Sedona and a dragon made by students at West Sedona School.
The Lunar New Year begins on the first new moon of the new year. It is a celebration of change to ring in all of the good and end all of the bad — a time for renewal. Its origin is centuries old.
The new year is known as Chūn Jié in China, Tết in Vietnam, Losar in Tibet, Seollal in Korea and Tsagaan Sar in Mongolia.
The 2012 Lunar New Year is the year of the Dragon, the mightiest of the 12 Chinese calendar’s zodiac signs.
The Sedona Korean-American Association will host the second annual Lunar New Year Festival on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sun Building, 340 Jordan Road. The festival is free and open to the public.
“We had many people come last year,” said Banya Lim, director of the BR Clinic. “I realized there is an interest in other cultures to see and experience things they never had before, so we are going to do it again the Saturday after the Lunar New Year.”
The festival will feature traditional Asian food, folk games, traditional Asian entertainment, calligraphy art, raffles and music.
“We’ll show two movies — one Korean and one Japanese. I want to show a comedy yet still show the culture,” Lim said.
Everyone in the association will wear traditional clothing and show children and adults how to play Korean games like toss the stick into the bowl and another similar to Hacky Sack.
“We prepare for Lunar New Year and celebrate it just like people do Christmas. People in Korea live frugally all year then celebrate and give gifts at the Lunar New Year,” Lim said.
Lim said Koreans now celebrate the Gregorian New Year on Jan. 1 and the Lunar New Year.
As a treat, people can have their New Year fun fortunes read using the day, year and time of their birth.
“It’s a tradition in Korean culture,” she said. “It will be fun, and any donations we receive will go to the Korean War Veterans Memorial that will be built in the Verde Valley.”
At West Sedona School, students in LouAnne Scott’s fourth-grade class built a dragon for the Chinese New Year. On Monday, Jan. 23 they will go through the buildings so other students can cheer them and see the dragon.
“We’re doing this as an offshoot of a book they read, ‘The Last Dragon,’” Scott said. “When done we’re coming back to the classroom to eat ramen noodles with chopsticks and have fortune cookies.”
The day is marked by several events, Scott said. It is the 100th day of school, Scott’s retirement and new teacher Alex Mace’s first day and birthday.
“The dragon will be a fun activity for her to do on her first day,” Scott said.
Sig and Sarah Hauer will host a free event at their shop in West Sedona at 65 Coffee Pot Drive, Suite D, with food, gifts and special offers.
“It’s an opportunity for people to become familiar with Chinese medicine,” Sig Hauer said.
As with any holiday, a variety of food dishes are associated with the Lunar New Year.
“We eat steamed fish, roasted pork, a lot of vegetables and rice,” said Janet Ho, whose family owns a Chinese restaurant in the Village of Oak Creek.
The new year also celebrates family. A popular dish is jiaozi, round dumplings that signify family reunion. Other dishes include dim sum, spring rolls and sweet cakes.