Welcome the year of the ox (Jan. 26)

January 22, 2009

It seems that each year, Chinese New Year generates a bit more buzz. I’ve been hearing references to the Jan. 26 beginning of the festival for a couple of weeks now. Heck, even Schnucks is having a celebratory tasting of exotic Chinese produce on Saturday (Jan. 24).

But if you’re not up on the year 4047, no worries.  Here’s the basics: The year of the ox begins Jan. 26 with a 15-day celebration known in China as the Spring Festival. Here in St. Louis, the city’s library system always gets into the spirit with a couple of Lion Dance performances by ShaoLin LoHan Pai Lion Dance Company. You can see one on Jan. 26 at the Schlafly Branch, 225 N. Euclid, and another on Jan. 27 at the Buder Branch, 4401 Hampton Ave. The free 20-minute shows feature lion dances and percussion — a colorful, noisy spectacle that will scare the diapers off kids who don’t like loud noises and/or people in costume! The dance company also performs at various Chinese restaurants on the next couple of weekends; a full schedule is posted online.

Richmond Heights also brings in a dance troupe, the Ten Tigers Lion Dance Team, for its free community-wide Chinese New Year celebration Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. The location is the library, 8001 Dale Ave., which is offering traditional pastries and candies to compliment the free appetizers. For details, call the library at 314.645.6202.

Finally, the St. Louis County Library system has its Chinese New Year celebration on Jan. 26 at the Weber Road Branch, 4444 Weber Road. Geared at kids 6 to 10, it offers crafts and storytellers at 3:15 p.m. To reserve a spot, call 314.638.2210.


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