Food, crafts, fun abound at Asian New Year event

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By Sami Parman

If you are charming, charismatic, practical and hard-working, you might have been born in one of the years of the rat, the first symbol of the Chinese zodiac and the theme of celebration at the Asian New Year Festival hosted by the Institute of Texan Cultures.

The festival will display Asian culture through entertainment, food, art and martial arts.

A few of the groups that will be there are the San Antonio Lion Dancers Association, Hula Halau Ohana Elikapeka, Sushi Zushi Japanese sushi, Tong’s Thai, India Association of San Antonio and the Karilagan Philippine Cultural Group.

In years past, some of the activities for patrons included Chinese writing and knot tying, Filipino artifact displays, Vietnamese fortune-telling, Indian and Asian palm readings, Hawaiian name writing and hula skirt making, and Japanese calligraphy and tea ceremonies. Food booths from dozens of restaurants will offer a feast from many Asian countries.

 “These groups work very hard all year long to participate in this festival,” said Aaron Parks in the office of marketing and community relations for the institute

Many people think the festival only includes cultures of China and Japan, Parks said, but the festival incorporates all culture including, booths from India, Pakistan and Hawaii.

The San Antonio Museum of Art was the previous host to the festival, and the institute took over hosting this festival in 2000. 

Even though the actual date of the Asian New Year is Feb. 7 in the year 4706 on the Chinese calendar, the institute is celebrating the Asian New Year Feb. 9.

For adults 13 and up admission is $7, Children ages 3-12 are $4, seniors 65 and up are $4, military are $4, children ages 2 and under and institute members are free.

This year’s festival will be 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Feb. 9, at the Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 S. Bowie St. The institute can be reached at 458-2330. 

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