February marks an important year in Chinese history. According the Lunar New Year, it commences the beginning of these next twelve months known as the year of the Snake. Many Chinese families will undoubtedly celebrate together in their homes, but the Miami Dade College Kendall Campus has a better alternative. This option celebrates the coming year with the much needed jubilation deserving of such an important calendar year. It is the Chinese New Year Festival, and everyone was invited.
Bringing together such a large an important Asian event into a heavily Hispanic city seems rather difficult. However, leave it to The MDC Kendal Campus (who have a large history of hosting public events) as well as the multiple supporters who were able to make it memorable for all visitors. Of course a large amount of those visitors were of Asian heritage, but all local residents were able to enjoy themselves in one way or another.
The festivities took place within the courtyard area of the campus, but with plenty of sights and wonders to bestow upon by visitors. All were welcomed with a program detailing all the events that were planned for the day. Square shops neighbored one another where anyone looking for a souvenir or an authentic bite to eat could be easily found. Just in case the event may have been too cultural for smaller age groups, four different inflatable rides were available for children to jump around in and heat themselves up during the chilly afternoon.
Regardless of what the activities anyone was attending to, it was the main stage that heralded the best of this annual event. Even in a court yard, the massive white framed stage had the appearance of a concert with hundreds of faces looking with curiosity and excitement. The people were really getting into the spirit of each act and applaud; but many of the actors themselves were pleasantly happy and would return the compliment with their own show boating to roars of laughter from the crowd.
The acts that took place lasted throughout the entire celebration. They ranged from traditional dances and songs, choreographed routines from both Miami Dade College and FIU Asian cultural studies students, and a few unexpected presentations from neighboring countries like Korea and Japan. The audience was informed that the Chinese Lunar New Year is also important to other countries throughout Asia who share in on the festivities. It’s hard to think about such details when a large percussion Taiko drum can be heard thumping in an incredibly fast rhythm that can be heard throughout the entire building.
The year of the Snake is supposed to represent good fortune. Perhaps that is the reason why so many supporters rallied behind this New Year Celebration. With many banners and advertisements throughout the city of Miami, including top Chinese restaurants like Lung Gong that welcomed it's customers in this Lunar New Year of fortune. Or may be the reason for so much excitement was seen when a version of Gangam style was being performed by the Asian Student Union of FIU; countless smiles, tons of laughter, and a type of community love and appreciation that can only be found in this city.