In celebration of the Chinese New Year, people of all ages filled the newly remodeled Ossie Davis Theater at the New Rochelle Public Library Tuesday to immerse themselves in Chinese culture by watching and participating in performances by the New York Chinese Cultural Center.
The event was part of the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) Goes Global for the 325th Anniversary of City of New Rochelle.
Types of performances included the Lion Dance, a Monkey King demonstration, the Handkerchief Dance, Mongolian Dance and the Ribbon Dance.
Children also had the opportunity to join in on the dances. Audience members even learned some traditional Chinese phrases and cultural beliefs.
Jie Yang, one of the Chinese Cultural Center performers said, “The purpose of the lion dance is to scare the Nian monster away with all its evil spirits.”
Nian translates to the English word “year.” The Nian monster is symbolic in that when making loud noises during the celebrations, she said, it is believed to scare the monster away with the intent on starting the New Year with a fresh slate.
Barbara Davis, community relations coordinator for the library, praised the dancers for their ability to share their Chinese culture on a child’s level.
Tuesday’s performance fell on the 10th day of the 15-day lunar celebrations.