We are wishing our CAFAM community joy, good health and abundance in the new year!
January 15th, 2022 – We unfortunately need to announce that we are canceling our CAFAM Lunar New Year celebration in Westbrook on Feb. 5th. We’ve been watching the Maine uptick in COVID cases closely and don’t believe it is prudent to host the family performance and event at this time.
新 年 快 樂
About CAFAM’s Lunar New Celebration
The Lunar New Year (LNY) Celebration is CAFAM’s most anticipated event of the year and the largest celebration of Chinese culture in Maine, drawing over 750 people each year. Our annual celebration appeals to families, adults, and children of all backgrounds. At the celebration, you’ll find the following:
- Intriguing speakers and interactive demonstrations
- Exciting Chinese folk song and dance performances
- Fun arts and crafts for the whole family
- Delicious Chinese food by local vendors
Explore past celebrations below to learn the beautiful history of LNY since CAFAM’s inception, read about sponsorship opportunities for both individual and business donors alike, see press coverage of the event, or take a stroll down memory lane.
As we continue to grow, CAFAM’s mission for cultural awareness and community growth pushes the organization to provide a fresh and exciting new LNY program each year.
The History of CAFAM’s Lunar New Year Celebration
Soon after CAFAM was established on August 8, 1988, the organization held a small banquet for Chinese New Year (CNY), the first major event organized by CAFAM to ring in the lunar new year.
It wasn’t until 1991 when South Portland Public Library approached CAFAM to organize a fair that the first true CNY fair was born. The venues have changed over the years, moving from the library to the YWCA on Spring Street, and more recently, in 2001, to Catherine McAuley High School on Stevens Avenue.
From its inception, the New Year Fair (or New Year Celebration as we now call it) features a variety of food and activities for both children and adults. From the start, CAFAM always provides craft activities for younger children, always based on the theme of that year’s zodiac animal.
Dance performances began roughly in 2001, with the debut of a ribbon dance from CAFAM Chinese School students.
Presentations and other programs for adults and have varied in topic year after year to appeal to enthusiasts of history, culture, fine and performing arts, science, medicine, and economics. Topics have ranged from Chinese history in Maine, Qi Gong philosophy, acupuncture, and other Chinese healing arts, business in China, calligraphy, and more.