Celebrate the Lunar New Year in Orange County, VA!

Orange County Celebrates Lunar New Year!

Among East and Southeast Asian cultures Lunar New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the year and the festivities run for multiple days—not just one day as in the Gregorian Calendar.  In 2023, Lunar New Year begins on January 22 and Orange County, VA has some fantastic events planned to help you celebrate the Year of the Rabbit.

Each year in the Lunar calendar is represented by one of 12 zodiac animals.  In addition to the animals, the five elements of earth, water, fire, wood, and metal are also mapped onto the traditional lunar calendar. Each year is associated with an animal that corresponds to an element. The year 2023 is slated to be the year of the Water Rabbit – a year to bring good luck, patience, prosperity and vigor.

To kick off the celebrations visit Paint it Orange and enjoy glazing a rabbit figurine! Stop in the studio on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023 and recieve 10% off all rabbit figurines on!

Then on Saturday, January 28th, celebrate Lunar New Year and bring luck to the year ahead by enjoying a FREE performance by Laughing Dragon Kung Fu in Taylor Park.  The performance begins at 10:00am and will be followed by a full slate of activities with ticketed events at Holladay House ($15/person). Activities will include a special presentation from Dr. Ruth Lu on the art of tea, a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, and a demonstration of Chinese calligraphy.

There are two sessions on January 28th, and tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at The Arts Center in Orange (129 E. Main St., Orange, VA 22960)  or online: Space is limited, and pre-registration is highly encouraged.  Tickets also include admission to an exhibition of Southwestern Chinese Arts + Crafts at the Holladay House.

Full Schedule for the day:

10am | Lion + Dragon Dance in Taylor Park (20 minutes)

10:30am | Tea + Teapot Lecture (30 min)
11am | Calligraphy (60 min)

1pm | Tea + Teapot Lecture (30 min)
1:30 pm | Calligraphy (60 min)

All Day:
10:30am – 4pm | Art + Craft of Southwest China Exhibit

On February 2nd, get the opportunity to create a paper lantern for your own Lunar New Year Celebration. Spelled Ink will be offering tutorials on how to make paper lanterns. The cost is $5 for the materials and tutorial. Space will be limited in person, so RSVPs are encouraged. To RSVP for this event, click here!

Keep the celebration going! Local artist Jessica Cifizzari (Paint it Orange) will host a special ceramic decal/glazing workshop featuring designs inspired by traditional Chinese ceramics at 2pm on Thursday, February 4th. You will get to discuss how decals are commonly made, and then get to glaze/apply them to your teapot/cup combo. Registration for this workshop is $20/person and is a separate ticket from the January 28th program. To register and secure your spot click here!








Interested in Learning More about Lunar New Year?  Check out some of the links and information below. 

Video links:

What is a Lion Dance?

The Lion Dance is a Chinese ceremonial performance dating back nearly two thousand years. Lion Dance is a main feature at many Chinese festivities including New Year celebrations, parades, banquets, formal birthdays, grand openings, and anniversaries. A Lion is brought to life by two dancers, one carrying the head on their shoulders and the other supporting the Lion’s tail. Due to the strength and stamina required to perform the Lion Dance, its practitioners are often members of Kung Fu schools. At Laughing Dragon Kung Fu, Lion Dance is a key component to our advanced training. With Lion Dance we are able to preserve a valuable aspect of Chinese culture while building the coordination and endurance required to excel in Kung Fu.

There are a number of different Lion Dance styles; Laughing Dragon practices Southern Lion Dance, specifically in the tradition of Jow Ga Kung Fu. The Lion is brought to life with crisp, stylized movements accompanied by the drummer and supporting musicians. A traditional Lion Dance performance will often present the dancers with a puzzle to solve or other challenge to overcome, testing not only their physical skills but also their knowledge of this ancient art.

A well-performed Lion Dance brings to its audience good luck, prosperity and joy. Skilled dancers will cause the Lion to seem truly alive, expressing its different moods by means of its stepping, head movements and facial expressions. Traditional Southern Lion Dance is an important part of Laughing Dragon Kung Fu, and of their students are trained in the fundamental aspects of this art. Through diligent training, advanced students have the opportunity to join our Lion Dance Troupe and perform for the public.