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Where to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit

From lion dances to calligraphy lessons, the Peninsula offers many ways to mark Lunar New Year
The Dance of Two Faces by Peter Chen was part of the performance to celebrate the Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year has arrived and Peninsula cities, libraries and local groups are hosting a variety of events marking the advent of Year of the Rabbit. From music and dance performances to hands-on crafts, here's a sampling of a variety of ways to celebrate the new year.

Four Seasons Silicon Valley: The hotel marks the start of Year of the Rabbit with its managers joining East Palo Alto Mayor Lisa Yarborough-Gauthier and Jeff Liu, East Palo Alto Acting Chief of Police, in a lion eye-dotting ceremony, followed by a performance of lion dancers trained in the Yau Kung Moon discipline.

Jan. 27, 5 p.m. at the Four Seasons, 2050 University Ave., East Palo Alto.

Mountain View: The city of Mountain View hosts an event featuring performances of Asian arts and music, games and more.

Jan. 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in Redwood Hall at the Mountain View Community Center, 201 S. Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View.

Hillsdale Shopping Center: A weekend celebration includes performances by lion dancers and acrobats, a 50-foot dragon display, calligraphers and a cherry blossom wishing wall.

Jan. 28-29, 1 p.m. at the Macy's Center Court, Hillsdale Shopping Center, 60 31st Ave., San Mateo.

Palo Alto Library: A celebration featuring Chinese opera singer Cathy Pan, Yueyao Dance Studio performing the piece "Moonlight" plus a demonstration featuring audience participation by local martial arts studio Taekwon Tigers. The event, which also offers crafts and light refreshments, is suited for families with children ages 3 to 11, but all ages are welcome.

Jan. 28, 2-4 p.m., Palo Alto Art Center Auditorium, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto.

Performers at the Palo Alto Library's celebration include, clockwise from top left, Taekwon Tigers martial arts, Chinese opera singer Cathy Pan and Yueyao Dance Studio. Courtesy the artists/Palo Alto Library.
Performers at the Palo Alto Library's celebration include, clockwise from top left, Taekwon Tigers martial arts, Chinese opera singer Cathy Pan and Yueyao Dance Studio. Courtesy the artists/Palo Alto Library.

Urisawe-Korean Dance Performance: San Mateo County Libraries present members of Korean Cultural Center Urisawe performing traditional Korean dances, including Chwitadae (Korean traditional marching band), and Nanta (Korean traditional drumming). Members of Urisawe will also teach some dance movements.

Jan. 28, 2-3 p.m. at the Atherton Library, 2 Dinkelspiel Station Lane, Atherton. The Jan. 28 event is full, but a waitlist is available. Urisawe also performs Feb. 4, 2-3 p.m. at the Brisbane Library, 163 Visitacion Ave., Brisbane.

Stanford Shopping Center: The center hosts arts and crafts, giveaways and live entertainment including a lion dance, performances of traditional Chinese instrument the Gu Zheng, martial arts and cultural dance.

Jan. 28, 2:30-4 p.m. at the center pavilion, Stanford Shopping Center, El Camino Real and Sand Hill Road, Palo Alto.

City of Campbell: The city celebrates Year of the Rabbit with food and festivities for older adults 50+.

Jan. 31, 11:30 a.m. at Orchard City Banquet Hall, 1 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell. $20 per person. No tickets sold at the door; Jan. 26 is the last day to purchase tickets. For more information, call 408-866-2146.

Redwood City: Live performances by lion dancers, taiko drummers, martial artists and many other community and performing groups will fill Redwood City's Courthouse Square in the city's celebration of Year of the Rabbit. The event also includes free admission to the San Mateo County History Museum, which is hosting children's activity stations based on the Chinese zodiac. Kids can make paper lanterns and red envelopes, and play mahjong.

Feb. 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City. Free.

Gamble Garden Second Saturday: Gamble Garden's Second Saturday program marks the Year of the Rabbit with a Chinese lion dance and activities and crafts for Lunar New Year. The event also includes a guided garden tour for adults and a nature hunt for families.

Feb. 11, 10 a.m.-noon at Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto. Free. Advance registration is required at

Chinese Calligraphy Class: The Redwood City Library hosts a workshop in celebration of Lunar New Year with calligraphy instructor Jojo Liu, who shares some of the basics of traditional Chinese calligraphy, including how to hold a brush. She will teach participants how to write new year sayings.

Feb. 15, 7 p.m. at the Redwood City Library, 1044 Middlefield Road, Redwood City.


About the Author: Heather Zimmerman

Heather has been with Embarcadero Media since 2019. She writes and edits arts stories, compiles the Weekend Express newsletter, curates the community calendar, helps edit stories for the Voice and The Almanac and assists with the Express newsletters.
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