The Lantern Festival (元宵節)

073_DSF8527The Lantern Festival (元宵節), also called the Yuan Xiao Festival, is a 2000-year-old Lunar calendar celebration that welcomes the return of spring, represents the reunion of family and marks the end of the Lunar New Year celebration. Join us on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. as we partner with the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center/Irvine Chinese School for the fifth year in a row, to throw the most immersive Lantern festival that we have ever done!

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The festival, spread throughout the concert hall and the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza, will feature pan-Asian culture, music and arts and a variety of colorful performances showcasing local music and dance groups. Other popular demonstrations from last year are also back, including performances by the Pacific Symphony Chamber Ensemble, the South Coast Chinese Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Youth Octet, Pacific Symphony Santiago String Quartet and the Irvine Chinese Chorus. Come out and make lanterns, appreciate Vietnamese woodblock art and try your hand at Calligraphy. Don’t miss all the photo opportunities, like where festival-goers can try on traditional Áo Dài Vietnamese outfits and other traditional attire at our photo booth.

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If you have never been to a Lantern Festival before, there is no better time. Take part in the joy of all the activities traditionally associated with the Lantern Festival—like the Lion Dance (舞狮), Riddle Games (猜灯谜) and the finale of the day: the Dragon Dance (耍龙灯). Learn the meaning symbolized in all the festivities and connect with the global community in a new way. Everyone is encouraged to come!

The event is free and open to the public, but due to the limited capacity, remaining available tickets will go fast. Entry is first-come, first-served; tickets must be reserved in advance through PacificSymphony.org, or with our Box Office at (714) 755-5799. Guests are recommended to bring cash for the numerous activities, including the popular lantern making Lantern with Bowers Museum. The Lantern Festival is made possible through the support of the James Irvine Foundation and is presented in cooperation with Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

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