Lunar New Year Celebration – Cleveland

3.) Lunar New Year Celebration – Cleveland – February 9, 2013

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In Chinese mythology, on the first day of the year, a beast called the Nian would come out of hiding and go on a feeding frenzy, eating livestock, crops and sometimes people – especially children.

At first, people would put plates of food outside their doors, hoping to fill the creature’s belly before it had a chance to eat them.

Then, one day, some villagers noticed that the Nian became fearful of a child wearing red.  Once they understood the Nian’s dislike of the color, they protected themselves by means of wearing red clothing as well as hanging red lanterns and scrolls (not to mention the use of fireworks).

Of course, I didn’t know this information when Julia and I took Max to the Lunar New Year Celebration…

…here at Asian Town Center

…so I was happy that the Nian didn’t try to gobble him up – especially while wearing his inviting koala hat.

Inside Asian Town Center…

…vendors lined the hallway…

…offering brightly colored clothing and accessories…

Scentsy products…

…and jewelry (the American Go Association also held some matches here).

Other tables offered information…

…on immigration law services (Margaret W. Wong)…

…voting in Cuyahoga County

…this year’s Asian Festival in Cleveland…

…and a cool-sounding Cleveland Japanese Meetup Group (they even offered some complimentary mochi!).

But the heart of the festival took place at the end of the hallway in a lobby area…

…where the Cleveland Public Library set up an activity table…

…and where a stage was set up for various performances and entertainment, including this talent show performance.

This is where most of the festival goers hung out…

…sometimes bringing in some great-looking food from the Siam Cafe’s table…

…or after a meal in one of Asian Town Center’s restaurants (Pho 99).

Julia decided to get some grub at the Umami Moto truck, parked just outside the doors…

…where she enjoyed some delicious pork pot stickers before that pesky Nian could lay its paws on them.

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