METUCHEN – The Metuchen community celebrated the Lunar New Year in grand style in the downtown area on Feb. 12.
The public was able to learn about the culture and history of the special day from performances and food to crafts and storytime.
Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, fell on Feb. 1 this year, celebrating the Year of the Tiger.
A fourth of the world’s population celebrates the Lunar New Year. It is a public holiday for the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, North Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Brunei, according to information provided by Simie Zhu on the Metuchen Downtown Alliance (MDA) website.
The festivities were part of an ongoing collaboration of the Metuchen Downtown Association (MDA) and Human Relations Commission, which brought celebrations of Juneteenth and Hispanic Heritage Month in 2021.
Residents Jacqueline Ho and Jennifer Zhu helped organize the festivities.
People who came downtown enjoyed performances of a Lion Dance parade along New Street and Main Street, with the Metuchen High School Asian Heritage Club and members of University of Pennsylvania’s Lion Dance team.
The dance is performed to bring prosperity and good luck for the upcoming year and chase away evil spirits, Simie Zhu said.
A Korean fan dancer troupe and Korean drummers performed on the Metuchen Town Plaza.
Sobina Chi Kanter performed a live, intimate jazz piano performance at Papillon & Company.
A number of businesses joined in on the festivities.
DiCosmo’s Italian Ice provided custom flavors, Pastry Lu provided special pastries, and What’s the Scoop provided special ice cream flavors celebrating the Lunar New Year.
Terrace Plant Shop provided special jade and money plants and Picture Perfect Studio provided a special Lunar New Year in-studio photography session.
People were able to make origami tigers at Genus Boni and children were able to learn about the lion head used in traditional lion dancing at Newmarket Metuchen.