Whether you're celebrating your own culture's new year or want a taste of a different tradition, the 4S Ranch Library is inviting you to a huge and eventful Chinese New Year celebration.
Kicking off the celebration on Wednesday, Jan. 18 will be a traditional Chinese dance, performed by elementary aged students from the International Culture Learning Chinese School. The students dress up in traditional costumes and perform meaningful dances.
"The kids dance to traditional poetry," Youth Service Librarian Laura Zuckerman said. "It's really beautiful."
Following the dance performance by the students, the Lucky Lion Dancers, the oldest and largest traditional dance company in San Diego, will provide the main event of the new year celebration. At 4:30 p.m., a four-person group will give a traditional lion dance with huge lion heads and various instruments.
Though the big heads are sometimes mistaken for dragons, they are indeed lions, which the Chinese call to in times of need. Dragons do play a part in this year's new year's celebration, as it's the year of the dragon.
"It's a really auspicious year," Zuckerman said. "It's the year people want to get pregnant! Dragons are lucky."
The Lucky Lion Dancers will show off their instruments in the library's parking lot and interact with the attendees as they dance through the audience to bring good luck and happiness. Although fire crackers are a common way to celebrate the Chinese New Year, none will be set off at this celebration.
Following the Lucky Lion Dancers show will be some dragon crafts for all ages and an author meet and greet with A.B. Curtis at 5:15 p.m. Curtis will be passing out free coloring books for kids and the library will be giving away red envelopes filled with a special treat for the attendees.
"[The celebration] is a really great opportunity for the community to participate in another culture's celebration," Zuckerman said. "It's kind of like [America's] New Year-out with the old, in with the new."
Want to gain some good luck and celebrate the Chinese New Year? Visit the 4S Ranch Library on Jan. 18 for this free celebration organized by both Zuckerman and the branch librarian June Zhou. The family fun goes from 4-6 p.m., with half of the event in the library's community room and half of the event in the parking lot.
Zuckerman said handicap parking will be available, but that two-thirds of the parking lot will be blocked off for the Lucky Lion Dancers. Parking is available nearby, next to World Market.