A brief history of this event
The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar. It now only serves for traditional purposes, to define dates of festivals and for horoscopes. The Chinese horoscope is based on a twelve year cycle, where each year is associated to an animal sign. According to the Chinese calendar the new year would fall on 19th of February, and the zodiac sign from the Chinese horoscope associated to it will be the ram. So this will be the year of the ram. Although, professor Isaac Yue from the University of Hong Kong declared : “The Chinese character yang can be translated as all of these animals — even the gazelle is called yang in Chinese”, referring to ram, sheep and goat.
Since 1989 there was a growing interest from the Chinese community in Phoenix for celebrating the Chinese New Year. Thanks to Clarence Teng, a member of the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission, the first festival took place at Patriots Park in Downtown Phoenix in January 1991, where it went on for 7 years. In 1998, the Phoenix Chinese Week, a non-profit organisation since 1996, held the festival at the Chinese Cultural Centre, for the first time.
Knowing that Phoenix is a sister city of Taipei this event was widely applauded and became an annual event since its first festival.
The 2015 Phoenix Chinese Week Festival
So this year we have the year of the ram. Unlike previous years, this year the festival will be held at Margaret T. Hance Park. Yesterday in the news conference we had the announcement of this years organisation. The conference began with a demonstration of the Lion Dance from Wushu Dynamic, which is one of the most important performances of the festival. Later on the Phoenix councilwoman, Thelda Williams got her speech. She regarded the Chinese Week Festival as “one of the most fun of all the programs we have in this city”. She noted that this year also marks the 36th anniversary of the cooperation between Phoenix and Taipei, as one of the oldest sister city agreements of Phoenix.
The entire event is free of charge, and open for all interested parts.
The Chinese Week Festival will hold from 13th to 15th February. The venue, Margaret T. Hance Park will host a lot of activities that will take place including traditional Chinese activities. There will be meals, exhibits, dance performances and tournaments. Guests will have chance to see the Giant Golden Panda statue, a gift from the Republic of China to honor the sister city relationship with Phoenix. Another donation from Taipei, the Dragon Boat will be displayed in this festival too.
Chinese Cultural Village and a lot of photo exhibits will be there, to portray over 5000 years of Chinese culture. The event will also feature works of children, in the Children’s Pavilion, who contributed to this event with their cultural projects as Chinese paper foldings, paper crafts, demonstrations of Chinese calligraphy and many other traditional Chinese arts.
Majong, the old Chinese game, that we all love to play. Guests will have the chance to see the art of Mahjong tiles, and you will be able to play it too. A bunch of tournaments such as the Taiji Tournament and Weiqi Open will be included in the festival. They are open for anyone who wants to participate.
The Chinese cuisine surely cannot miss the festival. In the Food Pavilions there will be Chinese food, which is so dearly loved by everyone in Phoenix.
The festival will end on Sunday, when the Chinese New Year banquet will take place. To attend you will need to make a reservation at a 45$ price tag. This will be the grand conclusion of the whole festival. An event that cannot be missed, surely. It marks the good relationship between all communities in Phoenix, particularly the value that the Chinese culture gives to our city.
For more information about the festival, please visit: http://www.phoenixchineseweek.org/2015-festival/2014-festival-details/