I spent this past weekend celebrating Chinese New Year here in St. Louis. Now, you might be wondering why I celebrated it a week late (since Chinese New Year was last week!)—this is because I spent the last week celebrating with family, so I spent this weekend celebrating with the greater St. Louis community. Hello, year of the rooster!
On Saturday, I went to the biggest event for the Chinese community in St. Louis, organized by five different groups: Jiang Xi Province Department of Cultural Affairs, Jiang Xi Province Foreign Affairs Office, Consulate General of the PRC in Chicago, St. Louis Chinese Culture Center, and St. Louis Yangtze River performing Arts Ensemble.
The event itself is the “Chinese New Year Gala 2017,” and the performance location this year was at the J. Scheidegger Center in St. Charles. I had an amazing balcony platinum spot in the very center of the first row. The performances ranged from dances, acrobatics, classical and folk music (instrumental solos), and vocal solos. Although most of the performers were from the Jiangxi Performing Arts Troupe, there was one by the St. Louis Modern Chinese School (middle to high school aged students from our community).
My favorite performance was “A Lane in the Rain,” which featured beautiful ladies holding umbrellas and flipping them in the air. One dancer even used a chair to flip the umbrella with her feet!
In addition, there were other fun performances with cute titles, including “Joyous Celebration of the New Year,” “Garden Full of Spring Flowers,” “Blue and White Porcelain,” “Unforgettable Jasmine Flower,” “Idyllic Lake Water,” “The Clouds of My Homeland,” “The Blossoming Purple and Red,” “Season of Harvest,” and “In the Field of Hope.”
Here are some pictures of the performances (get ready for a lot of pics!):
At the end of the performance, everyone who participated went onstage together, and the entire stage lit up with so many different, sparkly colors. Then, little kids from the community went onstage to hand the performers bouquets of flowers. It was so adorable!
On Sunday, I went to a dinner banquet at Mandarin House with my family and friends. Even though I assumed that it was just a small dinner with less than 10 people, it turned out to be a gigantic banquet with over 200 people! Most of the people dressed up in fancy gowns and qipaos, but I showed up wearing a regular blouse and skirt (oops!). In addition, the performers from Saturday night were all there, too! They celebrated the New Year with us, and some of them even went onstage in the dinner room to perform more. My favorite act from the banquet was this middle-aged man who was spinning porcelain vases in the air and caught them with his head, back, and arms. He didn’t drop them despite the loud cheering and clapping from the crowd! And of course, there was also more than enough food for all the tables—I ended up eating SO much.
I had such a blast this weekend going off-campus to celebrate Chinese New Year with friends, family, and such talented performers. Even though the celebrations are now officially over, the Wash U one is just about to start! This weekend, Wash U students will perform at the annual Lunar New Year Festival on campus. It is also a great performance full of dancing, music, and talent. 🙂
Until next time,
~ Nancy 🙂