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Best Ways To Celebrate Lunar New Year In Baltimore

January 20, 2014 6:00 AM

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(credit: aseanbistro.com)

(credit: aseanbistro.com)

Jan. 31, 2014 is the Lunar or Chinese New Year and this year marks the “Year of the Horse.” Persons born this year and in past years have notable strengths in communicating, and are clever, energetic and kind, making them popular among friends, prone to standing out in crowds and proactive at work. With these characteristics in mind, there is no shortage of entertaining activities in Baltimore with which to celebrate the holiday. However in special recognition of the spirit of the horse, this is the year to make efforts to improve yourself and your community and these top five events focus on dedication of soul and self through local cultural activities, exercise and education.

Yong Han Lion Dance Troupe
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles St.
Mattin Center #210, Box 177
Baltimore, Md. 21218
www.johnshopkins.collegiatelink.net

Based on martial arts, Lion dance is an art form all of its own and is commonly linked to the Chinese New Year. The dance is performed to bring prosperity and blessings to people while simultaneously safe guarding against evils and misfortune. In the past, the group has performed for Lunar New Year activities held at local attractions such as Walters Art Gallery, as well as events and parades all over the East Coast from New York City to Washington, D.C. No experience is required to join the troupe except for a love and passion of the Chinese culture and a drive for hard work. It is an unbelievable opportunity to get in some exercise for the year while having a lot of fun.

Related: Best Dance Companies In Maryland

Baltimore Chinese School
Schaefer Engineering Building
Morgan State University
5200 Perring Parkway
Baltimore, Md. 21239
www.baltimorechineseschool.org

Start the new year of with a resolution to learn Chinese and study the practices, culture and language of China. The Baltimore Chinese School (BCS), which was founded in 1998 by scholars and professionals, holds classes on Sundays for ages as young as kindergarten all the way up to adults and parents. The classes are focused on either learning Chinese as a second language or as a heritage language. Cultural classes include subjects such as arts, Gong Fu and Tai Chi. In teaching simplified Chinese characters as well as pin yin, or Chinese phonics, BCS serves pupils specifically in the Greater Baltimore area and is proud to boast an ethnically diverse student body of approximately 200 students.

Library, books generic

Baltimore County Public Library
Owings Mills Branch
10302 Grand Central Ave.
Owings Mills, Md. 21117
(410) 887-2092
www.bcpl.info

On Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 at 2 p.m., BCPL in Owings Mills is celebrating the Year of the Horse with school-age children (five to 12 years old). Bring your family and read stories about the Chinese New Year, Chinese Zodiac and what makes this holiday significant to Asian cultures. Then take what you’ve learned and create a festive, original craft that you can take home with you. Other Baltimore branches may be hosting similar crafts, storytimes or activities, so check your closest library’s events calendar for dates and times.

Friday Night Dance Club
American Legion Hall in Towson
125 York Road
Towson, Md. 21204
www.fridaynightswing.com

Dance to “Good Luck & Good Fortune” with The Natty Beaux at the American Legion Ballroom in Towson on the Chinese New Year. Known as one of Baltimore’s best places to dance, the Friday Night Dance Club is open to anyone passionate about dancing no matter your gender, race, religion, age or nationality. So come prepared with your Chinese dance moves and costume or just move to your own groove, whatever makes you happy as the holiday dictates. Since the New Year falls on a Friday this year, it is also a plus that the American Legion Ballroom has free parking – making this a stress-free travel destination for individuals and groups.

(credit: aseanbistro.com)

(credit: aseanbistro.com)

Jesse Wong’s Asean Bistro
Columbia Palace 9
8775 Centre Park Drive
Columbia, Md. 21045
(410) 772-5300
www.aseanbistro.com

Mimicking the friendly, entertaining atmosphere experienced when traveling throughout Asia, Jesse Wong’s Asean Bistro delivers culture and cuisine for a memorable experience on the Lunar New Year. This restaurant endeavors to bring the essence of Asia to your dinner table, offering a truly unique energy, spirit and character, as well as an amazing dedication to excellence. With an exhaustive list of appetizers, salads and entrees ranging from poultry to seafood and vegetarian, there is a dish to satisfy every taste bud. Tuesdays through Sundays, the Bistro hosts elegant piano music and during the weekend has live jazz music and sometimes vocalists to spice up the night and add an unforgettable touch to your celebration.

Related: Best Chinese Food In Maryland

Keri Ann Beazell is a Baltimore writer following the latest developments in arts and culture, natural wonders, lifestyle and pets. She enjoys promoting thought-provoking discussions, education, new ideas and smiles among readers. Follow her online at Examiner.com

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