Wow! That was the collective reaction of patrons and staff at Medicine Hat Public Library following the lion dance performance during our Chinese New Year celebration on Feb. 4.
A crowd of more than 200 people piled into the library theatre until it was standing room only and then began to line the hallway to watch through the open doors.
The event began with a short play by the Medicine Hat Learn Mandarin Chinese group, which partnered with us for the celebration, to give a brief history of Chinese New Year. Following that, members of the Jing Wo Cultural Association in Calgary thrilled the crowd with a 15-minute traditional lion dance performance that featured dancing and drumming.
After that the performers posed for photos with people, who then were able to experience a little more about Chinese culture through calligraphy, crafts new year fortune telling and more.
Brandon Mah, vice president of the Jing Wo Cultural Association, says the director of Medicine Hat Learn Mandarin Chinese invited his group down to help share the Chinese culture with the Medicine Hat community.
“Our main goal is to share the culture, to help teach it so it just keeps going on,” Mah said following the performance.
The group also donated a lion and drum used for lion dance performances. They are on display in the library lobby until Feb. 13.
“You hear about lion dance and maybe you don’t know exactly what it is. You can come here and actually see it, use it, interact with it, touch it and really see how it’s all handmade, the costume is handmade, the drum is handmade,” Mah explained. “So you can really feel and appreciate the art of lion dancing because it is all handmade and it’s been going on for hundreds of years.”
Visit our Facebook page to see more photos and video from our Chinese New Year celebration.
Chinese New Year is also known as Lunar New Year. The Year of the Dragon will officially begin on Feb. 10.