2020 – The Year of the Rat
Hosted by CAFAM and the USM Confucius Institute, featuring various activities, traditional food, and spectacular performances by Chinese Folk Art Workshop of Boston and local artists.
On Saturday, February 1st The Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine (CAFAM) and the University of Southern Maine Confucius Institute will ring in the ‘Year of the Rat’ at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center, 471 Stroudwater Street in Westbrook.
More details will follow but here are some highlights of the very full day (10a.m.-3p.m.) of performances and activities. At 11:30 a.m. there will be a special performance by nationally recognized Chinese Folk Art Workshop, the only touring performance group of its kind in the Greater Boston area. Their mission is to increase awareness of Chinese culture and heritage through sharing their talents in a traditional performance and visual arts experience. The beauty, sights and sounds of their performance will surely be breathtaking!
Workshops and Speakers:
- 10:30 a.m.
- Qigong & Tai Chi for 2020 with Karen Morency
- So You Think You Know China? Impressions A-Z from a Recent Fulbright. with Jeff Thaler
- Unpacking the Mystery of Spoken and Written Chinese with Viveca Kwan
- Ribbon Dance Demonstration with Lilliana Frantz, Wren Auld-Brokish and Friends
- 12:30 p.m.
- Self-Healing for Stress Reduction with Karen Morency
- Wisdom and Stupidity in Early China with Jim Behuniak
- 1:00 p.m.
- Acupuncture and Healing Arts with Chris Haskell
- 1:30 p.m.
- The United States and China: Can This Relationship Be Saved? with Joe McDonnell
- Tea Workshop and Tasting (with deluxe, rare teas) with Michael Connelly
Plus: Lion dances, martial arts, cultural crafts, vendors and exhibitors, and delicious Chinese food… this is an event not to be missed!
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 Chinese 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.