BRATTLEBORO—Asian Cultural Center of Vermont presents a celebration of the Lunar New Year of China, Korea, and Vietnam on Sunday, Feb. 17, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, 10 Vernon St. (parking next door in the lot for 28 Vernon St.)
Lunar New Year celebrations run from Feb. 5 to Feb. 19, and conclude with the Lantern Festival. The Center will celebrate the Lantern Festival with stilt walkers, sweet rice balls, and the Korean card game Hwatu (Go Stop). It’s a potluck.
Li Fei Osborne returns to share a dance of the Yi people (one of the Chinese ethnic minorities) and then teach a Yi dance for everyone to try. Dance with the Dragon, do Qigong, join in a Korean tug-of-war, make a paper lantern, and sing an Asian New Year song.
Organizers said in a news release that “you don’t have to be Asian or know anything about Asia” to help usher in The Year of the Brown Earth Pig, “a year full of joy, a year of friendship and love; an auspicious year because the Pig attracts success in all the spheres of life.”
The highlight is the annual dance with the 30-foot Vietnamese dragon. It will arrive around 2:15 p.m., and then parade up from the Museum towards Main Street bringing everyone luck for the coming year. According to Chinese folklore, this enormous marionette, requiring at least nine people to hold, is forever chasing the “heavenly pearl” in its pursuit of wisdom.
Seth Harter, director of Asian studies at Marlboro College, brought this extraordinary dragon back from the village of an accomplished Vietnamese craftsman. During the rest of the year, the dragon “lives” in the Marlboro College dining hall.