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Lunar New Year event comes to Post

Ring in the Year of the Dog with Long Island Chinese American Association’s (LICAA) third annual Lunar New Year celebration showcasing the diversity, splendor and richness of the Chinese culture, kicking off at the Tilles Center for Performing Arts on the LIU Post campus on Sunday, Feb. 25, from 12 to 6 p.m.

The festival is a centuries-old tradition embedded with ancient myths and customs and, as the first day of the lunar calendar, is used as a time to honor deities and ancestors. But Gordon Zhang of the LICAA said that these days, it is mostly a day for family reunion, dinner, party, entertainment and all-around relaxation.

“People hope to recuperate their body and soul through the celebration so they can have a fresh start in the new year,” said Zhang. “In addition to East Asian countries, the festival is also celebrated in Australia, U.K. and other U.S. cities. After all, who doesn’t like a time to relax and have fun?”

The on-stage performance at Tilles will feature Chinese folk music, lion dance, Peking opera and martial arts. Preshow events will include tasting of authentic Chinese cuisine served by well-established restaurants, while post-show events include a live demo and exhibition of traditional Chinese painting, calligraphy, sugar painting and dough sculpture. Attendees will also have a hands-on experience of traditional Chinese crafts, including lantern making, paper cutting, painting, shadow-theater play and some traditional Chinese games.

“One of the most exciting features for this year’s celebration is that this is the Year of the Dog,” explained Zhang. “Dog has been loyal friend and partner for human beings for ages. We will center this theme in all our activities.”

Zhang also said that the 2016 and 2017 lunar celebrations attracted thousands of revelers from Long Island and beyond—and he expects this year’s event to be just as popular.

“This year’s celebration at the Tilles Center will showcase the diversity, splendor and richness of the Asian culture. It represents all aspects of the festival spirit: food, dance, music and craft making,” he said. “We expect to attract over 1,000 people from Long Island and the metro New York area to celebrate the festival. For families with children, it is your best chance of the year to experience Chinese culture and the festival here on Long Island.”

Food will be available for purchase from noon to 1:30 p.m.; on-stage performances in the theater will take place from 1:30 to 4 p.m.; and the post-show activities and talent show will be held from 4 to 6 p.m.

Purchase tickets at the Tilles Center box office, 720 Northern Blvd. in Brookville, call 516-299-3100 or visit www.tillescenter.org/event/2018-lunar-new-year-celebration or www.licaa.yapsody.com/event/index/189141/2018-lunar-new-year-celebration.

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Steve Mosco is editor-in-chief at Anton Media Group, editor of Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald and Levittown Tribune, and a columnist for Long Island Weekly's food and sports sections. He fancies himself a tastemaker, food influencer and king of all eaters.

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