IF YOU GO
What: Chinese New Year celebration.
When: Noon-4 p.m. Saturday (museum will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m.).
Where: Creative Discovery Museum, 321 Chestnut St.
2012 is the year of the dragon, but visitors to the Creative Discovery Museum on Saturday will celebrate Chinese New Year with a traditional lion dance, performed by the Chien Hong Lion Dance Troupe of Atlanta.
The Chinese lion dance is a "cultural performance that is used to bluff or chase away negative or evil spirits," said Gary Mitchell, of the Chien Hong School of Kung Fu. "Its origin is probably over 2,000 years old. There are many different versions of it all over China, as well as Asia."
The dance, he said, is meant to bring good tidings to its onlookers.
Four dancers dance the roles of two lions.
"The theatrics, the artistry and the movement itself of seeing those visuals is such a beautiful performance," said museum arts manager Liza Blair. "It's something I wanted to have here at the museum. It seemed like a perfect fit."
The celebration will also include martial arts and calligraphy demonstrations by Chattanoogan Chris Campbell, as well as a new temporary exhibit, "Children of Hangzhou: Connecting With China."
According to a news release, the exhibit features four young "tour guides" from Hangzhou, China, who are profiled through their daily lives at home, at school, in the library, in the theater and in the countryside."
Also known as the Lunar New Year festival, Chinese New Year is considered a time to celebrate change, forgive old grudges and welcome in the new year.
"Chinese New Year is very similar, in terms of how it's celebrated, to our New Year's Eve," Blair said. "It's really about bringing people together. That's what we want to showcase, that different communities have different ways of celebrating similar traditions in different fashions, but the point of it is about bringing people together."
Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...