Celebrate the Chinese New Year at First Baptist Church

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By Kirsten Laskey

The Chinese New Year, which lands on Feb. 14 this year, is a time for family. For people like Joshua Wu, whose family lives apart, the New Year is a time for them to get together and celebrate. “It’s a fun thing,” he said.

Wu added, that cleerbating in China and in the U.S. are different.

“China goes about it differently … what we usually do is families … come as a whole group. It’s a get-together.”

Some traditions include pasting doors with red paper, which has calligraphy written on it. Wu explained this is to give protection to the family and grant protection for the future.  Additionally, he said adults will give money to children, which Wu joked, is a big incentive for youngsters to look forward to the New Year.

This opportunity to bond with others and experience Chinese traditions is being taken advantage of locally as well. From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Los Alamos First Baptist Church, located at 2200 Diamond Drive, will host a Chinese New Year 2010 celebration, which will kick off the Year of the Tiger. Traditional Chinese food will be served and Chinese games and crafts such as origami will be provided The event was created during a church retreat. Wu, who is organizing the event, explained that church members were discussing what they could do for the community. Wu said he came up with the idea to celebrate the Chinese New Year so church members could “share it with the community. This is also a way to interact with the community.”

He added he believed this would be a way for the local Chinese community and the Chinese congregation at First Baptist to open up to Los Alamos.

It seems, Wu said, that the Chinese community is apt to be conservative and private, so hosting this event is a big step for them. Everyone is encouraged to be a part of the festivities he said, not only for the activities, but for the opportunity to try some real, authentic Chinese food.

The event is free but donations will be accepted.