Year of the Tiger roars in


Ellie Chan

A CELEBRATION OF CULTURE: Performances included traditional Chinese dancing, music and martial arts that enthralled the crowd.

Erin Tsai, Staff Writer

People bustle around, exploring booths with various Chinese crafts and activities. Suddenly, the rhythmic beat of drums reverberates through the crowd. Children excitedly wave their lion mask crafts as dancers grace the stage of the amphitheater. The Chinese New Year Celebration held by the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center and Irvine Chinese School on Feb. 5-6 welcomed the coming of the Year of the Tiger. 

Hosted annually at SCCCC, the event this year was held outdoors in the amphitheater and surrounding parking lot area instead of the theater as a precaution for COVID-19.

The event featured a multitude of performances, from drummers and instrumentalists to martial artists and dancers. The martial artist captivated the crowd with his powerful and striking moves, while the dancers showed off their colorful costumes and grace with their elegant moves.

“The wushu master was performing a barehand form, and I thought it was pretty cool,” freshman Karen Young said. “I have done wushu kung fu for a while now, so I thought he was very skilled and had great power and included a few hard tricks.”

In addition to the performances, booths for activities such as paper folding, paper cutting and calligraphy were organized, with the addition of a lion mask craft replacing a traditional lion dance. Many of these booths were supervised by high school students that attend ICS.

“I volunteered at the paper cutting booth where we taught children how to cut the paper into a pretty tiger design,” Young said. “The event teaches people about the Lunar New Year and also lets many people enjoy the fun activities to celebrate.”

Despite the presence of Omicron, it was important for ICS not to cancel the event due to the importance of the holiday to the Chinese community.

“The Lunar New Year is the most important cultural celebration among Chinese immigrant families,” ICS principal and SCCCC executive director Yulan Chung said. “This is the time that we value our traditional and family culture. It’s important that our students, parents and community members celebrate together.”

Lunar New Year celebrations traditionally last several days, ending with the Lantern Festival. Those who missed out on the SCCCC festival should look out for more celebrations later in the month, including the Lantern Festival at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall held by the Pacific Symphony, SCCCC and ICS on Feb. 26.