Sammamish was transformed Saturday into a cultural arts stage as people from throughout the area gathered to celebrate Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rabbit.
The event marked the first Chinese New Year event at City Hall, organizers said. The Sammamish Arts Council helped sponsor the celebration, which included dancing, tai qi, a calligraphy demonstration, singing and musical performances.
Chinese New Year - which some refer to as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival - started Feb. 3. People typically celebrate for at least a week with some marking the arrival of spring for two weeks.
People wear red as a lucky color. Parents and sometimes other adults give kids lucky red envelopes filled with money to start the year off with something in hand. During Chinese New Year, people often wish others - especially older relatives - good fortune, good health and good times.
On Saturday, City Hall was festooned with the Chinese character of "fu" - which means good fortune and happiness. The Evergreen Bilingual Institute, which is based in Sammamish, also organized the event.
YEAR OF THE RABBIT: KEY INFORMATION
Birth years: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
Characteristics: Articulate, talented, ambitious, determined, sensitive people who like tranquility
Most compatible with: People born in years of Sheep, Pig and Dog
Famous rabbits: Jet Li, Brad Pitt, Tina Turner, Albert Einstein, Confucius, Angelina Jolie, Michael Jordan and Anthony Quinn
Key information sources: Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco and Seattle-based Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
Editor's note: To read the earlier article about Lunar New Year from Sammamish Patch, click here. There are video clips included of Chinese lion dances, which are common during Lunar New Year.