Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gong Ho Xinxo Chinese New Year Ushers in the Year of the Ox Today

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gong Ho Xinxo Chinese New Year Ushers in the Year of the Ox Today

Article excerpt

The white sticky-rice cakes and ornamental dragons were going fast Thursday at Din Ho's Market in University City. So were the tiny golden oranges - known for good luck - and the peaceful apples and long-life noodles.

On South Grand Boulevard, excitement was growing in anticipation of the Lion Dance, with its scary lion masks.

At Washington University, festivities were building to Saturday night's banquet, Dragon Jam Dance Party and parade of costumes spanning the dynasties. Starting today, it's 4695 on the Lunar Calendar - Chinese New Year. Today starts the Year of the Ox. According to the St. Louis Chinese Language School, that means a year of "meaningful progress in improving human harmony and in strengthening unity among families." The ox is known "for its patient services to mankind." Around the metropolitan area, colorful pageantry will usher in the New Year. Celebrations go on for about two weeks. One is planned at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville on Feb. 23. At some events, performers will play drums, Chinese zithers and flutes - or engage in martial arts. Others will dance the graceful Flutter Fan and Ribbon dances or sing the Flower Drum Song. Families will gather for large meals. When Anna Shiao wakes up this morning, she'll say "Gong Ho Xinxo" - Happy New Year - to her husband, children, parents and other elder relatives. She'll call her in-laws who live across the Pacific. Children Brandon, 6, and Elizabeth, 5, will get gifts of red envelopes stuffed with lucky money. The children will don new clothes and new shoes, and the entire family will eat Firecracker Soup (sizzling rice), Happiness Lettuce and Prosperous Fish (red snapper), for starters. Anna Shiao, whose family owns the Mandarin House restaurants here, told her son's kindergarten class Thursday about the Chinese New Year. …

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