Lion Dance Brings in Chinese New Year of the Pig at Orinda Library

(Contributed Photo)
Dancers perform a Chinese lion dance before an appreciative audience at the Orinda Library during last year’s festivities.

    On Feb. 2, members of the Concord Kung Fu Academy will perform a traditional Chinese lion dance in the Library Garden Room in celebration of Lunar New Year. The lion dance dates back thousands of years and is intended to scare away bad spirits and bad luck, and to bring good fortune in the new year. Sometimes the dance includes another traditional element known as “choy cheng” where businesses hang heads of lettuce from their doorways with red envelopes of money inside. The lion pretends to eat the lettuce, spitting out the leaves as a show of good luck for the businesses and keeping the money as a reward for the dancers. The library performance comes a few days early with the start of Chinese New Year Feb. 5, marking the first day of the “Year of the Pig.”
    The event is sponsored by Dr. Weylin Eng of Orinda Optometry Group and his wife Rose, who established the Eng Family Endowment for Asian Cultural Programs when the library first re-opened in its current home in 2001. The lion dance will take place at 2:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Contact the Orinda Library with questions at 925-254-2184.

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