Lifestyle, News

Malden prepares for Chinese New Year

Chinese Culture Connection Director Mei Hung.
Chinese Culture Connection Director Mei Hung. (Courtesy photo)

MALDEN — Home to one of the state’s largest Asian populations, it was a natural for Mei Hung to begin a major, regional Chinese New Year celebration to Malden.

Hung serves as director of the Malden-based Chinese Culture Connection (CCC) and the group hosted the first Lunar New Year Celebration in 2010 at the Beebe K-8 School in Malden.

Since then, the event has grown in both popularity and attendance. “It has gotten bigger each year and we are expecting even more in attendance for this year’s celebration, the Year of the Dog,” Hung said.

The CCC is co-hosting this year’s event, called the 2018 Chinese New Year Celebration, with the Asian Cultural Club of Malden High School. The celebration will be Saturday from 1-5 p.m. in the Jenkins Auditorium and its foyer, at the high school, at 77 Salem St., Malden.

This year’s event is especially exciting, Hung said, since at the celebration, federal U.S. Postal Service officials will be on hand to oversee the official Boston-area unveiling of the new “Year of the Dog” 2018 Lunar New Year Stamp. Malden Mayor Gary Christenson is expected to be on hand to participate in the official unveiling. “It is a big honor that the city of Malden and our celebration has been chosen for this unveiling,” Hung said.

Hung doubles as advisor to the school’s Asian Cultural Club and said students from the club have been key participants in the planning of the event and will be on hand Saturday to assist in running the celebration. “We are opening to strengthen the collaboration between the Chinese Culture Connection and the students in the community,” Hung said. “We want to help build leadership skills and have them learn about their own culture and those before them.”

Hung said the Lunar New Year is celebrated internationally by many Asian ethnic groups and considered “very important in Chinese culture.”

The unveiling of the USPS stamp is just another great addition to a packed series of presentations at the celebration, the CCC director said. There will be drumming, Chinese music, dance, and many live performances. Also included will be demonstrations of Chinese arts and crafts, such as calligraphy and rice dough sculpture making. Those up to the task will be shown how to create calligraphy that is thought to ward off evil spirits, Hung said.

The CCC director said up to 500 may be in attendance at this year’s event, possibly more. “We welcome all who would like to enjoy a celebration of Chinese culture,” Hung said, noting it will also be a great opportunity for businesses to reach out to one of Malden’s largest ethnic populations. Tables will be set up in the foyer and halls around the Jenkins Auditorium for that purpose, she said. “It will be another great celebration, people really like this event.”

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