(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

The Lunar New Year is a 15-day celebration that is considered the most important holiday in many traditional Asian cultures. Also called the Spring Festival in China, the Lunar New Year begins on a different day each year, between January 21 and February 20 on the Gregorian calendar. In 2013, the Lunar New Year begins on February 10. Each new year is associated with an animal in the Chinese zodiac; 2013 is the year of the snake.

AACCOM Chinese New Year Party
Northside Elementary School
912 Barton Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
(734) 994-1958

Date: Feb. 9

Students of the Ann Arbor Chinese Community will celebrate the Lunar New Year with a recital for family and friends. Each class will give a short dance, musical, choral or spoken performance. Following the recital, AACCOM will host a catered buffet dinner; tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. Games, snacks and tea will be available throughout the dinner hours. AACCOM offers classes for Chinese students, language classes for children and adults from non-Chinese speaking families and extra-curricular activities such as martial arts, Chinese modern dance and table tennis.

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Asian Martial Arts Studio presents Chinese New Year Lion Dance
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 833-7900

Date: Feb. 10

The traditional Chinese Southern-style lion dance is performed at the new year to bring blessings to the community and express the hopes and dreams of the Chinese people. As an extension of martial arts, the lion dance is traditionally performed by martial artists and students. Accompanied by a variety of percussion instruments, the dance tells the story of a brief interlude between a lion and a monk. Rich with symbolism, the narrative represents wishes of good fortune, good health and wealth for the audience.

Association of Chinese Americans – New Year Luncheon and Open House
Detroit Service Center
4750 Woodward Ave., Suite 211
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 831-1790

Date. Feb. 12

The Association of Chinese Americans’ Detroit chapter will welcome the year of the snake with a gourmet Chinese luncheon and open house. Guests can meet ACA staff and board members and will have the opportunity to tour the ACA offices. The luncheon will include a celebration of China’s history and culture. While the event is free, the ACA does ask attendees to RSVP to ensure enough food is prepared.

Macomb Cultural and Economic Partnership – Chinese New Year Celebration
Frederick V. Pankow Center
24600 Frederick Pankow Blvd.
Clinton Township, MI 48036
(586) 783-6008

Date: Feb. 19

Macomb County has developed a strong relationship with China over the last several years and boasts a sister-city arrangement with Qidong in the Jiangsu province. The Macomb Cultural and Economic Partnership, a non-profit group founded in 2009, organizes trips to China for students, business leaders and individuals, and hosts students and delegates from China who visit the state. MCEP’s Chinese new year celebration embraces the traditional Chinese holiday and honors the county’s Mandarin language instructors. The event includes a six-course banquet dinner. Tickets can be purchased by calling the MCEP.

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Jennifer Walker is a freelance writer living in Detroit. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.