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Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media

Dallas


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Richland Chronicle 4/09/24
Richland Chronicle 4/09/24

Fiery Lunar New Year festival

The Year of the Dragon celebrated in Grand Prairie
Decorations+celebrate+the+year+of+the+dragon+at+the+Lunar+New+Year+festival+in+Grand+Prairie.
Staff Photos/Ashley Santiago
Decorations celebrate the year of the dragon at the Lunar New Year festival in Grand Prairie.

Grand Prairie’s Asia Times Square shopping center hosted its 17th annual Lunar New Year festivities from Jan. 26 to Feb. 11.  The shopping center is a place where the Asian community can go and shop for groceries, clothing and any other imported goods.

The three weekend-long festivities ended on Feb. 11, the beginning of the Lunar New Year. Chinese Lunar New Year (also known as Spring Festival) is mainly celebrated in China, hence the name, but is still celebrated in other countries across Asia and is celebrated on the first day of the first lunar month of the calendar.

The date usually varies anywhere from the last week of January to the last week of February. Each year is also associated with one of 12 Chinese Zodiac animals and this year is the Year of the Dragon. The dragon symbolizes great power, luck and prosperity, according to Smithsonianmag.com. To celebrate this year, Asia Times Square hosted many different attractions such as lion dances, dragon dances, firework shows, food vendors and various Asian artists.

On its second weekend, there were lion and dragon dances and food vendors. The place was lively, full of people and music. As I was arriving, the lion and dragon dance was happening, which was performed by the Jiu Long Lion Dance Troupe. The lion and dragon were followed by other members with drums and the attendees of the event right behind them as they marched through the shopping center. The most popular food item I saw many people with was the sugarcane juice that many vendors had for sale.  The juice was sweet and earthy, and it almost tasted like fresh coconut water. I also tried Spam musubi, which is a block of rice with a grilled slice of Spam and soy sauce wrapped with seaweed.

Then I moved on to the next spot where they sold garlic shrimp skewers and grilled chicken skewers, which were accompanied by a sweet and sour sauce that was delicious. Lastly, for food, I tried a California onigiri, which is a rice ball stuffed with crab salad, avocado and cucumbers wrapped in seaweed. After eating all that food, I needed a dessert for my sweet tooth.  I had a red bean bun and a matcha bun to end my time at the Lunar New Year festival.

The festival is a great place to experience a different culture and try new food.

Attendees at this year’s Lunar New Year festival at the Asia Times Square shopping center in Grand Prairie.
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