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Chinese New Year: A Time To Honor Ancestors -- And Celebrate

The Year of the Horse has begun, and in North Texas, it’s a busy weekend for Chinese New Year revelers.

At the Chinese Community Center in Richardson, a dance group is practicing its routine and nearby organizers are prepping for Saturday’s big celebration. Marina Chen is a volunteer with the center. She says Chinese New Year is like Thanksgiving.

“To pay respect to our parents, our grandparents and even our ancestors,” Chen said. “With the fast-paced world of today, young people do not have time to get together. This would be a special, meaningful time to be close to the family.”

The year of the horse is about freedom, independence, perseverance, and endless courage, she says. But it’s also time to talk history.

“We want to adapt to the new world, but we don’t want to forget where our roots are,” Chen said.

Just outside the center, Angela Wang and Nancy Li are packing groceries into their car. They were shopping at Tien Tien Supermarket for traditional Chinese desserts called Tang-Yuan.

Both are from Sichuan province in China. 

“We are students here, pursuing our master's degrees, and we come here for one-year-and-a-half,”  Wang said. “Maybe we will have dinner with our group of friends, and play games in our homes.”

The new year, for Wang and Li, means wishing for good jobs and ...

“High GPA, and the health of my whole family and my friends.”

Over at the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Stacie Adams and her education team are busy assembling toys called Tanggu.

“It’s like a small drum, it has a couple of different wooden balls on it," Adams said. "And you can hear it. It makes a fun noise, but for our kids that are coming, on Saturday, they can decorate it in their own design. And it’s a wonderful keepsake for the incredible day of Chinese New Year [Festival].”

Adams says this year, they’ve got fireworks for the first time. She says the fun, free activities are a celebration of the coming of spring.

For more information about Saturday’s Lunar New Year activities at the Crow museum, click here . Parking is available for $5 at the Trammel Crow Center underground parking garage, accessible from Olive Street.