Colorado Springs hops into Chinese New Year celebrations

Kung fu, aerial arts and lion dances kick off Year of the Rabbit celebrations
The city welcomed the Year of the Rabbit in a community celebration.
Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 10:33 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 22, 2023 at 1:31 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Celebrations for the Chinese New Year kicked off Saturday at the City Auditorium.

Also known as the Lunar New Year, the holiday officially begins Sunday and will last over two weeks.

This year is the Year of the Rabbit. In Chinese culture, the rabbit symbolizes peace, prosperity and longevity.

“New year means a lot to us because everything will be new,” said Mali Hsu, founder and chairwoman of the Colorado Springs Chinese Cultural Institute (CSCCI).

“And something change. If you have bad luck last year, and this is the time to change your luck, change your fortune.”

The traditional lion dance -- a fan favorite -- boasted vibrant, multi-colored costumes, and routines that involved marching through the crowd, offering an up-close performance to wide-eyed children.

“It’s special here, it feels special,” said attendee Mengmeng Zhang. “We feel included in a foreign country, and we feel this is really good event.”

Other traditions included various Asian martial arts, like Taekwondo and Kung fu, as well as Asian eats and arts, like calligraphy and pottery. A special “tea house” stood to the side, providing refreshments and showcasing musical performances, including the Erhu, the Chinese violin.

“I really appreciated the people who love this instrument, and to me that’s an honor to be able to play,” said Erhuist Liping Woods, who says she may be one of the only Springs residents to play the Erhu.

This 24th annual event was organized by the CSCCI. It was called a “good luck celebration,” unifying families and friends.

Hsu added that during the new year, the Chinese typically eat whole fish and sticky rice to symbolize one’s entire family sticking together.