Celebrating Chinese New Year all year long

Xin Nian Kuai Le 新年快乐 and welcome to the Year of the Horse! 

If you didn't know, Downtown San Diego has an amazing annual event in celebration of Chinese New Year hosted by the San Diego Chinese Center and SDCHM, your favorite Chinese historical museum, will be at the heart of all the festivities!
As a kick off to the 32nd Annual Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair, I will be highlighting two amazing artifacts in the museum’s collection relating to Chinese New Year. 

Chinese New Year Dragon
Upon first entering the museum, you will be greeted with a long Chinese dragon.  This lucky red dragon welcomes guests with a large benevolent smile and a long body with gold and colorful scales that leads to the hallway towards the Chaung Garden entrance.  In Chinese tradition, dragons such as this are used in a "dragon dance" during Chinese New Year and other celebrations, and is meant to bring good luck to all.  It is also believed that the longer the dragon is, the more luck it brings!

This Chinese dragon has made a few appearances during the Chinese New Year Food & Cultural fair in past years but this year the museum has added him to the permanent collection in the Mission Building where he can be enjoyed all year long. This beautiful piece was generously donated by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of San Diego.

Chinese New Year Model
One of the museum's more popular pieces in the collection is a model of a traditional Chinese New Year celebration in  China. 

The model gives an amazing view at the traditional highlights of the celebration including a parade with lion dancers, dragon dancers, jugglers, food carts, and more, as well as a peek at a family inside their home.  The adults in this model look upset because they are arranging their children's marriage.  Younger children, who are found throughout the room, are enjoying themselves as they play mahjong on the floor.

This piece, along with a number of other models in the museum, was created by a local educator named Lois Whitner.  She is also the artist who created the Turf Saloon and Gim Wing & Woo Chee Chong models at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Extension. 

Magnolia in Bloom

We here at the museum know Chinese New Year is approaching when the beautiful magnolia trees in the Chuang Garden begin to bloom.  Do you celebrate Chinese New Year?  We would love to know how you enjoy this wonderful Chinese tradition!  Tell us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!


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