Carpinteria Lunar New Year Celebration

Carpinteria Lunar New Year Celebration title=
Carpinteria Lunar New Year Celebration
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By Robert Bernstein

Many cultures celebrate the Lunar New Year, but the Chinese version is perhaps the best known. Santa Barbara often has Chinese New Year events, but they are not always well-publicized.

Here are my videos and photos of the Lunar New Year celebration at the Alcazar Theatre in Carpinteria. I was grateful that the event was completely free.

The celebration opened with children displaying traditional Asian foods that are prepared and served at the time of the Lunar New Year:

The Chinese New Year legend has it that the monster Nian emerges to do harm. He is driven away with loud noises and with the color red. Young children were invited to the stage to bang on metal can drums as Nian appears and runs away:

The rest of the celebration involved Hawaiian and Japanese cultural activities. As far as I know, these cultures celebrate the Western New Year rather than the Lunar New Year. In fact, on New Year Day 2019 we were staying in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles and took part in their Japanese New Year celebrations.

That said, the remainder of the celebration was a delightful cultural experience!

The next section of the celebration was performed by "Hula Anyone" which is a Hawaiian dance group in Santa Barbara. They welcome new dancers and teach the dance to anyone who wants to learn.

Their first dance was called Nani Manoa:

Next was called Hiilawe:

The third dance was called Waika:

Their final dance was to the American song "Fly Me to the Moon". They wanted to make the point that hula is a form of communication that is universal. It does not matter what language the music is in.

The final performance of the celebration was by Ojai O'Daiko Taiko Drummers. As noted above, Japanese culture celebrates the Western New Year. But this Taiko drumming was still an enjoyable way to celebrate the Lunar New Year!

Afterwards the drummers kindly posed with some of the children in attendance.

It is not always easy to find these beautiful Lunar New Year events. Mark your calendar for early next year and start searching. You will be in for a treat!

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a-1581287415 Feb 09, 2020 02:30 PM
Carpinteria Lunar New Year Celebration

This has to be one of the very few Lunar New Year celebrations that wasn't canceled due to the coronavirus. In fact, nobody is sporting a mask in any of the pictures which is just amazing.

Ryan93105 Feb 09, 2020 05:28 PM
Carpinteria Lunar New Year Celebration

Great to see the audience getting involved! Maybe a tip for the production members, tape some construction paper around the metal cans to give even a slightly presentable appearance of a drum, and maybe not go with a table cloth/worn sheet as a dragon's body, does paper mache not exist anymore?

sbrobert Feb 13, 2020 09:49 PM
Carpinteria Lunar New Year Celebration

Cancelled celebrations? To the person who posted February 9 at 2:30PM can you please name any Lunar New Year celebration that was cancelled here? As far as I know, the performers are all locals, so I can't imagine there is any risk. RYAN93105 yes, it was fun to have the audience participation. That is a good suggestion. I hope the organizers will see your idea; I tried to contact them but have not heard back.

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