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The 15-day Lunar New Year celebration, important in many Asian cultures, kicks off on Feb. 1.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Students and families were treated to a performance by the White Lotus Dragon and Dance Group at Bolton Primary recently., West Linn Tidings - Education Students and families take part in Chinese traditions to celebrate the Lunar New Year on January 27, 2020.

The start of February kicks off with a new moon and a new year — that is, the Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year, also known colloquially as Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival, is a 15-day celebration that begins on the first day of the lunar calendar. The holiday is also observed in other Asian countries, including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.

The Year of the Tiger starts Tuesday, Feb. 1, and while some celebrations were either canceled or limited this year due to the prevalence of the omicron variant, there are still a variety of cultural festivities to enjoy both online and in-person around the Portland-metro area.

Keller Auditorium Lunar New Year celebration

The Keller Auditorium in downtown Portland is hosting its annual Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday, Jan. 29, with activities and arts and crafts starting as early as 5 p.m. This is the second year in a row the event is being held at the Keller Auditorium and the first tine multiple Asian communities in the area are collaborating for the event.

Performances include acrobatics by Lina Liu, a two-time Guinness World Record holder with performance experience in nine countries, professional singer and winner of imitation of Chinese Singing star Aaron Kwok, routines from Wushu international champions, a ballet performance from Oregon International Ballet Academy, and a variety of cultural performances both Asian and Hispanic performing groups.

The celebration at the Keller, 222 S.W. Clay St. in Portland, is organized by the Chinese Friendship Association of Portland, the Intel Chinese Employee Network and the Multnomah County Health Department.

For more more information and how to purchase tickets, visit portland5.com.

Wish tree at Walmart

The Beaverton Walmart Neighborhood Market will display a wish tree dedicated to API Forward, a nonprofit supporting Asian American and Pacific Islander community leaders. The tree will be on display starting Sunday, Jan. 30.

Wish trees or money (hong bao) trees are a significant tradition during Lunar New Year traditions, where people tie red ribbons with wishes, notes, drawings and other symbolic items and attach them to a tree in hopes of their longings coming true.

Ping Khaw of API Forward will speak and tie the first knot on the wish tree at Walmart, 9055 S.W. Murray Blvd. in Beaverton, at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Performances at Washington Square

Washington Square and First Tech Federal Credit Union are hosting a slew of events and performances at the Summit Food Court and Macy's Court starting 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 5.

Performances will include Chinese folktales by Alton Chung, a Badminton showcase by Jie Yang and Thomas Wang, the Portland Chinese Dance Troupe and much more.

Washington Square visitors will also have the chance to learn Chinese calligraphy and how to craft lantern ornaments and origami.

Visit the event page for Washington Square, 9585 S.W. Washington Square Road in Tigard, to learn more about the schedule of events.

Virtual events at Portland Chinatown Museum

The Portland Chinatown Museum will be organizing two virtual events in February. Photographer Dean Wong will host a talk on how he captures the Pacific Northwest's Chinese American communities at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2.

Museum board member Sara Chung will host a lecture on Lunar New Year history and traditions at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9.

To register, visit the museum website.


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