For residents of Beijing, there will be no mass celebration of the Lunar New Year, according to the World Health Organization. Authorities have restricted travel, called off events, and many are staying away from restaurants during this weeklong celebration, due to an outbreak of Coronavirus.
However, Colusa County did its part to recognize and honor the festival that has been a part of Chinese culture for thousands of years.
The Lunar New Year began the Year of the Rat on Saturday and it also happened to coincide with the predetermined novel for the upcoming Virginia Yerxa Community Read this spring.
“The Joy Luck Club” is a story about the lives of Chinese women and their daughters, and the staff at the Colusa Library teamed up with the annual book-in-common for a kick-off event on Saturday afternoon at the library.
Librarian Gaby Silva read “Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas,” by Natasha Yim, to children who sat on the carpet to listen to the story.
The youth also made their version of a traditional Bolang Gu (pellet drum) with paper plates. Mandarins, fortune cookies, and mooncakes were provided to those who attended the celebration. Children decorated and then wore dragon masks as homage to the customary Dragon Dance.
Alissa Maas, a VYCR Committee member, made buttons for each child’s Chinese horoscope animal.
“It was fantastic,” said Library Director, Stacey Costello. “It was fun to learn about the lunar calendar compared to the solar calendar.”
Lillian Neal, 9, said she had not celebrated this holiday before but that she had learned quite a bit.
“They put all of their wishes on a dragon and then it goes in a parade and they dance it around,” said Lillian, who explained that she also knew she was born in the year of the Tiger.
The afternoon got off to a slow start, but, throughout the day, over 20 children came and participated in the event.
Silva said it went smoothly and according to plan. As with any Story Time event, the children were also encouraged to take home a free book.
The library hosts many programs available for free to the public. The next youth event will the Colusa STEAM Program on Thursday at 3 PM. ■