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Where are the Chicana/o artists this weekend/next week?

The Chinese Lantern Festival

Hola Todos – As I said last week, the 14th day of the Chinese New Year celebration should be for preparations to celebrate the Lantern Festival, which is to be held on the 15th night. And that we would speak more about the Lantern Festival next week. So, here it is next week, and time to talk about the Lantern Festival.

The Lantern Festival is a tradition that closes out the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival season. This observance falls on the fifteenth day of the first month in the Chinese lunar calendar, which the night of the first full moon of the lunar New Year, and changes each year. It dates back to shrouded legends of the Han Dynasty more than 2000 years ago. It is also known as Shang Yuan Festival or the birthday of the God of Heaven.

Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs & scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples & carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon. A popular component of some lanterns is lantern riddles. These are riddles that are stuck on the surface of lanterns for people to guess. The subjects of the riddles are often traditional Chinese songs, poems, stories or historical events.

In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon—which might stretch a hundred feet long—is typically made of silk, paper & bamboo. Traditionally, the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets.

Lantern Festival is also popularly referred to as Chinese Valentine's Day. In the past, it was the only day of the year that a single woman could go out (chaperoned) and be seen by eligible bachelors. Now, many single people gather at the festival, and some play matchmaking games with the lanterns.

Lantern Festival is also celebrated by eating tang yuan or yuanxiao, round balls of sticky rice flour with a variety of fillings, including black sesame paste, tangerine peel, walnuts, meats, fish, and vegetables. It is an important practice to eat tang yuan during the lantern festival because they symbolize family reunion and unity, important values of the celebration, and their shape represents the full moon.

So where does one go here to touch a taste of this celebration? To El Pueblo, Olvera Street, of course. As we said before both the Chinese and the Spanish cultures of LA have ties to this area. The Chinese American Museum is hosting the Lantern Festival there. And, for some reason this is the weekend of some wonderful fundraisers, and, you should be able to make both: the Benefit Concert & Auction at Rock Rose Art Gallery and the Route 66 Art Auction at Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock. And nearby you can see a new dance production, Perceptions, at Avenue 50 Studio. If you're not in the NorthEastLA area and want to see some dance, there's Origenes: Compañía Flamenca Rina Orellana at the Morgan-Wixson Theater in Santa Monica. For those in the Pasadena area you can make both Saints & Sinners XX Exhibit at The Folk Tree and Drive By at the Phantom Galleries LA. And for the politically-minded, there's Breaking the Silence at Mercado La Paloma and The Ministry of Culture presents We Say No

Yo! at IMIX Bookstore, on Sunday.

And, if none of that appeals to you, look below for what else is going on this weekend.

And, so…

Where are the Chicana/o artists this weekend/next week?

This Chicana artist is still celebrating her 60th birthday and just got back from Baja, again. It's the fish tacos in Puerto Nuevo… Shalom, RuthAnne Tarletz de Molina

Where will you be???

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Brian Brady

I am amazed at the amount of information you post both here and on your myspace.

Anybody who says, "I got nuthin' to do" needs to read this site.

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