The Chinese New Year Celebration in Chinatown Center was fun. My favorite performance was Draiku Aerial. They were mesmerizing. I also took the opportunity to walk around and stop in at two of my favorite places – Pho Saigon for steamed rice with charbroiled sliced pork, and Short and Sweet for Thai iced tea with pearls.
I visited Chinatown Center in Austin to celebrate the Chinese New Year. It was super crowded as the weather was nice. The celebration included drums, strings of explosive firecrackers, red lanterns, food, drink, and the spectacular Lion Dances. According to Wikipedia, here is the mythology behind the New Year celebrations.
“According to tales and legends, the beginning of the Chinese New Year started with a mythical beast called the Nian. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One day a villager decided to get revenge of the Nian. A god visited him and told him to put red paper on his house and to place firecrackers. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. When the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again.”
I stopped in for Pho Tai Chin tonight at Pho Saigon in the Chinatown Center in North Austin. As usual, the Pho hit the spot on a cold, wet night. They have decorated a Christmas Tree in front of the complex, so I took a few photos to share.