Saturday, December 28, 2013

Food Finders give to families in need

Food Finders is a non-profit organization that collects food from local grocers, and local distributions give to families in need!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lakewood Artists Guild displays wide range of art for the community

Hi everyone! 

Check out my latest story with Lakewood CityTV! 

The Lakewood Artists Guild is one of the oldest art guilds in all of California. Their Fall Art Show displayed artwork from local artists. The community came together to enjoy all of the creative pieces. 

Photography, oil paint, acrylic, and sculptures were the among the main categories. 

I had a great time meeting Mary Crowder, President of the Lakewood Artist Guild. She was so warm and sweet! The local artists were also nice and happy to talk about art. 

Hope you all enjoy it! 

Your's Truly,

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mega make-up store Ulta opens in Lakewood

Hi everyone!

This is my first story for Lakewood CItyTV! 

One of the nation's largest beauty retailers, Ulta is the latest addition to the Lakewood Center Mall, one of America's largest shopping centers.

I had a lot of fun doing this piece! Oh all the make-up! and all the colors! 

Hope you enjoy watching it!

Your's Truly,

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

El Segundo TV: Local Education Foundation’s capstone event celebrates funds raised for schools

by Amy Lieu

Barbara Briney, Director of Events for The El Segundo Education Foundation board, graduated from El Segundo High School. Decades later, she finds herself still in love with education and contributing to the community.
 Briney said while she was a student at El Segundo, she took woodshop, “but that’s not a possibility anymore because the state doesn’t fund it.”
 That’s where the El Segundo Education foundation comes in. The local non-profit organization plans to fundraise close to one million dollars in donations to local schools. Their capstone event of the year, Ed Gala: Party in the Park on a Friday night in spring aims to reach the last hundred thousand dollars for their ambitious fundraising goal. This is also the second year that the foundation is hosting the party at Chevron Park.
 “This is the biggest one, this is the best attended one,” Briney said.
 Carol Pirsztuk, CEO of the El Segundo Education Foundation, said she hopes to raise about $120,000 at the culmination event. She also explained that the sole mission of the foundation is to raise money for schools.
 “This year, we are going to give $950,000 to schools, to fund programs that would normally be cut.”
 Subsequently, the El Segundo Unified School District has lost over $4 million dollars in less than five years, according the El Segundo Education Foundation’s website.
 However, the education foundation has raised money to fund programs such as music, art, physical education and robotics in local schools, according to Briney. The funds are also used to hire counselors, who help students decide what classes to take, Briney said.
 All food, drinks and auction items were donated. The Ed Gala event had about 300 silent auction items and nine live auctions; its proceeds will be donated to schools. There were 23 restaurants and three wineries. 100 percent of ticket sales from the event are also donated to El Segundo schools.
 Briney’s daughter is currently a teacher El Segundo High School, while her 4-year old grandchild will soon be a young El Segundo student. She wants to ensure that her children will have the same opportunities that she had.
 “I think that [the opportunities] made me understand what was possible, what I could come and do and make a difference,” Briney said. “Without those, you miss some of the essence of life.”
 Click here to view this story on the latest edition of El Segundo Magazine.

El Segundo TV: Elderfest honors Older American of the Year, local senior citizens

by Amy Lieu 
 A senior citizen who has contributed to the El Segundo community is honored at the 25th Annual Elderfest Celebration at the Hacienda Hotel.
Elaine Allen is awarded the Older American of the Year, one of the most prestigious honors for senior citizens in El Segundo.
Aside from Allen, the event was also an opportunity to acknowledge the local elderly citizens for their community service and involvement.
Allen said she couldn’t believe she received the award, much less deserved it. “But I got it, and I’m very honored to have it.”
More than 170 attendees celebrated with Allen.
The current El Segundo resident has lived in the city for 55 years, and is active with many local organizations.  
For the Lutheran Church, she has planned various fundraisers like fashion shows.
She is a member of the El Segundo Women’s Club for decades. There she served of the member of the board and raised money for scholarships for the youth, and created art for thank you cards, invitations and brochures for many events.
She has also assisted with many events for the El Segundo Senior Club.
 “This award means a great deal, when I think of the others that have received it in town and to be in amongst that group, it’s just beyond words.”
Friends describe her as having a great sense of humor.
Towards the end of Allen’s speech, she wanted to clarify a rumor that was going around town.
“I am the 2013 Older American of the Year, not Oldest.”
Allen just could not help but to make the whole crowd burst in laughter.  
This story appears near the middle of the latest episode of “Your City, Your News.” You can view it by clicking here.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

El Segundo TV: Run for Education hits record numbers, bonds father, son

by Amy Lieu

Run for Education is one of the biggest fundraising events in El Segundo.  This year is the first time that they are including the 10K run to the adult 5K and kids 1K and 1/2K run.

Over 2,200 runners registered for the event, which is more than any previous years, Race Director Carlos Donahue said. He also added that the fundraiser surpassed their goal and raised just over $90,000, in which more than $50,000 will go to El Segundo Unified Schools. This is the most amount of money raised to date.

The record for both the amount of time to finish the race also set a record of fastest time: 16 minutes for adult man and 19 minutes for adult women, said Rick Reaser, who is the Race Operations Director.

This year also had over 40 vendors, compared to last year’s 10 vendors. The Expo featured health and wellness booths.

The event also provided special bonding experience for father Jim Boulgarides and son Danny.

Jim is a firefighter in Ontario and his son Danny does not see him very often. The race provided some precious time with his dad.

“It’s really fun because I get to spend more time with my dad ... It’s probably the best thing I’ve done for a long time,” Danny said.

Jim responded while wrapping his arms around his son a little more tightly.

“It’s pretty crazy, it’s making me tear up. I think he is just saying for the camera. It’s sure nice to hear. It’s good. Obviously it makes me feel really good. It was worth the run.”

Check out the video story here

The Run for Education organizing committee included the PTA Council and the El Segundo Foundation for Education. This is the first year that the marathon is a premiere race for the USA Track and Field (USATF) Southern California Association Grand Prix Series. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Pacific Asia Museum's Silk Road Storytime explores trickster tales from Turkey

1 of 3

Courtesy of Pacific Asia Museum

Storyteller Sunny Stevenson reads a book during the free monthly event "Silk Road Storytime" at the Pacific Asia Museum. As the event's regular storyteller, she has been a volunteer at Pacific Asia Museum since its founding in 1971 and has told stories in the series for almost four years.

The Pacific Asia Museum's monthly Silk Road Storytime children's reading series will feature a series of trickster tales, in keeping with the week's April Fools theme. 
The free event takes plate the first Saturday of every month in Pasadena. On April 6th, the series will feature three traditional stories from Turkey. They all center around Hoja, a “silly but wise” character who seems dim-witted at first, but ends up being quite clever by the stories' end — usually fooling everyone around him.
Amelia Chapman, the museum’s education curator, says the trickster series is in keeping with the museum's goal to feature themes “that are universally appealing and present in all cultures.”
“Programs like Silk Road Storytime provide families with a fun way to connect with other cultures,” Chapman says. 
Saturday's stories include "The Hungry Coat," "The Slap," and "The Smell of Soup."
After the stories, families participate in a hands-on activity based on the stories. Chapman says that for children, hearing stories, looking at pictures, and making crafts are familiar activities. “We use those familiar, enjoyable moments to introduce other cultures.”
Terry McGlynn says the stories are what his 9 year-old son Bruce McGlynn enjoys most.
“It's when a story comes up with which he was familiar. Since he's a regular, there are some perennially classic stories that are retold on occasion,” Terry says. “He loves it when one he likes comes up again, and he knows how it's going to end.”
The two have been attending Silk Road Storytime for several years, since Bruce was only about 6 years old, and Terry says that Bruce has learned quite a bit.
“He’s had exposure to a bunch of cultures to which he otherwise wouldn’t have as much intentional experiences. Also, he gets to see the commonalities of stories among cultures, and the ways in which they're different, which is a great lesson.”
The Pacific Asia Museum is located at 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101 (see our map below). The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $10 general, $7 students/seniors, and free for museum members and children under 12. Admission is free every 4th Friday of the month. For more information or call (626) 449-2742. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 Multi-American Blog

Why raise a child bilingual? Parents on language, culture, and roots (Video)

bilingual education

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Los Angeles County leads the state in the number of schools that offer bilingual education starting in kindergarten
Bilingual education for English learners, as it was once known in California, ended by law in the late 1990s. But in the years since, the popularity of a different kind of bilingual education, known as dual language immersion, has grown exponentially.

Unlike traditional bilingual education, it isn’t primarily designed to teach English to English learners. Rather, dual immersion is designed to teach school-age children to become fluent in a language other than English, whether it’s the parents’ native language or a new language that isn’t spoken in the home.

Dual language immersion programs have increased five-fold since the early 1990s in California; more than 300 schools in the state now have programs in languages that include Spanish, Armenian, German, Italian, French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Japanese. The programs typically start in kindergarten, with native-speaker and non-native speaker children combined in one classroom.

Some immigrant parents see these programs as a way to pass along not just language, but also culture, traditions, and what can best be described as a special way of relating that can be lost in translation.

But it’s tricky. Aside from being competitive, dual immersion programs are optional and typically parent-driven. Some newer immigrant families aren’t necessarily aware of them, or prefer that their kids go into English-only classes. And while many experts tout these programs’ success, some families haven’t had the results they hoped for.

Below, a handful of parents who attended a recent KPCC forum on bilingual learning share stories about why they chose dual immersion for their kids. Most are immigrants; all wanted to pass along their heritage, with language as the primary vehicle. They talk about communicating with grandparents, holidays with special meaning, a certain sense of pride. If you grew up bilingual, or are trying to pass along the culture you grew up with to your kids, you’ll relate.

The forum was led by KPCC reporter Deepa Fernandes, who in January reported an informative three-part series on bilingual learning and its science; the videos were produced by intern Amy Lieu.
Hugo Enciso is a native Spanish speaker with roots in Mexico. His son is in the dual immersion program at Niemes Elementary School in Cerritos. For him, language and culture are inextricably tied.

Katja Jahn is an immigrant from Germany who wants to pass her culture along to her son. She’s on the board of trustees at Goethe International Charter School in Marina del Rey, which her son attends.

Josefina Vargas grew up in the U.S. as an ESL (English as a Second Language) student. She says learning in Spanish made it harder for her to learn English, so she was at first hesitant to enroll her kindergartner in dual immersion at the Los Angeles Leadership Academy.

Taina Franke is a parent of two sons, the oldest of whom attends the Goethe International Charter School. She talks about her own father’s struggles with language when his family moved from his native Finland to Germany.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Lantern Festival lights up LA, concludes Chinese New Year

ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

People visit a lantern show to celebrate the Spring Festival on February 17, 2013 in Guangzhou, China. The Chinese Lunar New Year of Snake also known as the Spring Festival, which is based on the Lunisolar Chinese calendar, is celebrated from the first day of the first month of the lunar year and ends with Lantern Festival on the Fifteenth day.
The Chinese New Year celebration ends on the 15th day of the lunar new year. The Lantern Festival draws the cultural holiday to a harmonious close.
Although the actual date this year was last Sunday, Feb. 24, the Chinese American Museum will still host its 12th annual Lantern Festival this Saturday, March 2 in Los Angeles. Admission is free.
Michael Truong, education programs manager of the Chinese American Museum, says that the festival is an educational tool to make Chinese culture accessible to the public. It allows the community to learn and appreciate the history, traditions and customs of this Chinese holiday, Truong said.
Truong says that the event is a cultural celebration to close out the new year.  The San Gabriel Valley and Chinatown have already had luna celebrations during the two-week holiday, so "we feel that the Lantern Festival is a way to commemorate the ending of the New Year," Troung said.  
The Lantern Festival's history and origins have many interpretations. According to ancient mythology, a villager had accidentally killed the favorite phoenix that belonged to the god, Jade Emperor of Heaven, Truong says. This prompted him to destroy the village on the 15th day of the new year.
One villager suggested lighting lanterns, so on the 15th day, the villagers lit thousands of lanterns. When the god looked down from heaven, he thought the village was already on fire and decided to spare the villagers' lives — thus came a yearly celebration of the anniversary of the villagers' survival.  Truong says the Lantern Festival lights the way to a prosperous new year. 
UC Irvine History Professor Yong Chen gives another interpretation. He says that the Lantern Festival is on the 15th day for both Buddhist and Taoist religious reasons.
Buddhists worship Buddha on the 15th, while Taoists worship an important god on the 15th. Both religions use red lanterns to observe the tradition. "Red is also an auspicious, festive and cheerful color," Chen said.
He added that on the 15th day of the lunar year is a full moon, which signifies that the spring season has arrived. This is a time when the planting season begins and people pray for good harvest, Chen said.
People also want to celebrate under the full moon. The red lanterns "help light up the village, because in ancient times, there was no electricity," Chen said.
The Lantern Festival is from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 2. It will include various festivities and "encompass all parts of the culture," Truong says. Here are the four main parts of the event:
Stage Performances
There will be over 20 stage performances every hour on the hour from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., including lion dances, Chinese folk dances and magic shows.  The Silver Dragon stage performance will end the night. 
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts are also a big part of the festival. There will be 14 workshops teaching how to make various Chinese-themed arts and crafts, including abacus making, red envelope making, kite making and — of course — lantern making. The workshops are taught by volunteers. The museum staff trains the volunteers on how to make the arts and crafts, who in turn teach the public.
The Chinese American Museum will have extended hours until 7 p.m. for visitors. Currently, there are three main exhibits featured at the museum.
Local food trucks Kogi BBQ Taco Truck, LudoTruck and Fluff Ice will serve food.  For more information, visit theirevent page on Facebook or  their website 
Want to make your own lantern? Here's a step-by-step guide:
1. Get a sheet of construction paper. 
2. Make a drawing.
3. Fold the paper in half lengthwise. 
4. Cut strips about 1/2 inch apart. 
5. Unfold the paper.
6. Tape the edges together. 
Here is your final product!
The Chinese American Museum has more than 35,000 visitors a year. The historic building is one of the only existing buildings from Old Chinatown, as opposed to the Chinatown we know today.
The museum is located across from Union Station and south of Olvera Street. Check out our map below:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

El Segundo TV: Sustainable El Segundo’s 'Family Energy Day' promotes ways to go green

On a brisk yet warm Saturday morning, around 350 wide-eyed El Segundo residents and members of the South Bay community joined at Plaza El Segundo for “Family Energy Day.” They gathered around the solar panels, electric vehicle charging station and demo car, not to mention the eight various environmental vendors.

 ImageIf you remember my two previous stories on Arbor Day and the Water Harvest Festival, even our friends at Tree Musketeers and West Basin Municipal Water District were there.
 The energy day is all part of the initiative called “Sustainable El Segundo.” About two years ago, private met public when NRG Energy partnered with the City of El Segundo to provide resources for creating a more sustainable environment. 
 Marie Fellhauer, El Segundo City Council Member, says the city is at the forefront of promoting sustainability and that she is proud to be a part of it.
 “And so having this event here, bringing the awareness to the community and to other public officials as well, and being an example … sets a tone for the entire region,” Fellhauer said. 
 There was something for every part of the family. Kids played educational games, while adults listened intently during green workshops.
 What struck me was the strong message about conservation. Energy, for example, is often taken for granted. However, one way to make a house green is to install solar panels that conserve energy use while making electricity bills more cost-efficient. Experts on alternative energy gave workshops to educate the public about solar energy.
 Another method of conservation is recycling. Remember the “three R’s” from middle school?—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? Non-profit organization Grades of Green reminds the public and reinforces the “three R’s” in both kids and adults. The green organization’s Programs and Outreach Coordinator, Allie Bussjaeger coordinated games with the kids. She helped them distinguish which items to put in the recycle bin and which in the trash bin.
 “I think it’s just a matter of taking the time to look at the packaging, making sure it’s basically clean and empty. Every city has their own guidelines for recycling, so maybe making an effort to go on city websites, finding out who the waste hauler is, and then figuring out what they do accept,” Bussjaeger said.
 The Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station and the demo EV was a big hit. I was fortunate enough to get a tour of the brand-new, vibrant red EV.  Electric Vehicle Specialist Jill Brandt fully described its features. Check that out in my video!
 The EV may have convinced South Bay resident, David Louff to turn his car green.  
 “Actually, I think the thing that we enjoyed the most was learning about the charging station for the electric cars, and how they are expanding in Southern California,” Louff said. “I consider maybe my next car might be electric.”
 Watch my story here! I am excited to be covering my third green story for El Segundo TV.
Tune in next time for more!
 Yours truly,
Amy Lieu
El Segundo TV Reporter

Monday, February 11, 2013

89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio

12 traditions, 15 events to ring in the Lunar New Year: The Year of the Snake


Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Visitors look at a display celebrating Chinese lunar new year in Shanghai on February 8, 2013. Preparations continue in China for the Lunar New Year which will celebrate the Year of the Snake on February 10.

This year, Lunar New Year is on Feb. 10. But those who celebrate the yearly tradition start much earlier than that. The cultural holiday involves many traditions, some which date back to ancient times, and though there are many variations on each, there are many that are widely celebrated.
1. Year of the Snake

There are twelve animals of the Zodiac. This year will be the Year of the Snake. Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at UC Riverside, Vivian-Lee Nyitray  says that there are many variations on the snake’s characteristics, but overall people agree that a person of the snake year is charming, rational, intuitive and lucky with finances.  She says the year is likely to be unpredictable and unstable, requiring people to prepare for the unexpected.
UC Irvine History Professor Yong Chen says the snake resembles the dragon, which is a symbol of power, dignity and prosperity. According to Chinese legend, ancient ancestors had a human face, but a body in the shape of a snake, so the snake represents ancestral worship. Chen says that some believe that the snake symbolizes longevity not only because of its shape, but also that it can regenerate life itself.
2. New Year’s Eve Dinner and Food
The New Year’s Eve Dinner takes place the night before the New Year, just like Christmas Eve the night before Christmas. Chen says it’s also like a Thanksgiving dinner, a time when the family gets together to celebrate.  Along with the dinner comes a multitude of traditional foods.
Although there are regional variations, certain dishes in the meal often have symbolic meaning, Nyitray says.
The main dessert is the New Year’s Cake, made out of ground sticky rice. In Chinese, it is called “Nian Gao.” The “Nian” means “year,” while the “Gao” means “cake” and also “high” or “tall.” The overall meaning: A wish that the coming year will fulfill one’s high hopes. The cake may have fruits and nuts or seeds in it.
Fish is a common dish for the dinner. The word fish in Chinese is “yu,” which is a homophone for the word “plenty.” This symbolizes prosperity and surplus.
Oranges or tangerines are popular fruits for the new year. Since these fruits include segmented parts that make a whole, they symbolize a whole family made of individuals.
Nuts or seeds symbolize the hope for many children in the family. Some typical seeds used in the New Years dinner are sunflower, melon and pumpkin seeds.
Dumplings are also a common dish; its shape represents unity.
3. Cleaning
Prior to the New Year, the house needs to be thoroughly cleaned. The significance is in sweeping away any negativity from the past year. It also signifies a fresh start, a new beginning. This is the origin, in Chinese cultural areas, of “spring cleaning,” since New Year’s is also known as the “Spring Festival,” Nyitray says.
4. Decorations
The characters for auspicious words such as “spring,” “happiness,” “longevity,” “prosperity,” are written on squares of red paper to be pasted on one’s door.
One of the main characters in Chinese is called “fu,” which means good fortune.  Sometimes the character is pasted upside down to indicate spirits looking down from above that the family’s fortunes have not been good and could use a change. In some interpretations, they’re inverted because the word for “upside down” is a homophone for “arrive,” and thus is a hope for the arrival of fortune. For some, the “fu” is pasted upside down so that devils would not know the meaning of it, therefore warding off evil spirits.
Couplets, a pair of often rhyming good wishes, are written on red paper to paste on either side of the front door.
New images of “door gods,” who are deified warriors that once guarded an emperor’s private chambers, are pasted on doors to guard the entrance to people’s homes.
Paper decorations could also include other auspicious images. Bats are one of them; the word for “bat” is a homophone for “fortune.” Ships carry the meaning of “smooth sailing” or “good fortune arriving easily.” Peaches are associated with Daoist notions of immortality and thus “long life.”
5. New Year’s Day
Visiting family is a major tradition on New Year’s Day. Some families stay awake for the whole night, while some retire after the midnight firecrackers.  If they stayed up all night, they would wake up later to visit family and spend the day together. New Year’s Day is also when families distribute red envelopes. After doing so, people will visit other family members and friends for “a convivial start of the New Year,” Nyitray says.   
6. Red Envelopes and New Money
Red envelopes are a meaningful gift for children and a way to pay respects to elders, all the while sharing good fortune.
Nyitray says red is an auspicious color, a color of vitality and life. Red envelopes are given by elders to the youth.  They are filled with cash only even, not odd, amounts. “It might be two $10 bills for a total of $20, not a single bill and never an odd amount such as $15,” Nyitray says.
The bills should be crisp and new, just like the New Year.
Children will line up in front of their grandparents and parents on New Year’s morning, or after midnight and the setting off of firecrackers, to pay their respects by bowing, after which they receive their red envelope, Nyitray says.
Chen says that red envelopes are a more acceptable way to give money. It is not acceptable to give cash alone. 
7. New Year’s Greeting
There is one main greeting for the New Year. In Mandarin Chinese, it is “Gong Xi Fa Cai.” In Cantonese Chinese, it is “Gong Hay Fat Choy.” In Vietnamese, it is “Chuc Mung Nam Moi.” Its meaning is “Congratulations on reaching the New Year, May you be prosperous.”
8. Superstitions
The New Year is a cheerful time that should not be marked by taboos.
One should avoid the word “death” and any other word that may sound like it. Instead, good luck wishes should make up most of the conversation.
One should not use a broom or sweep on New Year’s Day, as this might sweep away good luck.
Some believe that holding scissors on New Year’s might “cut” the New Year’s luck. Nyitray says it may vary depending on the region. The tradition might have also carried-over from pregnancy taboos, “pregnant women were not supposed to carry scissors for fear of symbolically cutting the fetus and hurting it,” Nyitray says.
Similarly, it is widely believed that one should not cut their hair on New Year’s Day. It should be done prior to the New Year. "Weapon-like objects are not supposed to be used in the holiday season," Chen says.  "In some places, cutting hair on the first day of the New Year jeopardizes the life of mother's brothers."
Cussing is not allowed for some as well. Nyitray says it would make sense to have a “clean” mouth.
People will also try to repay all debts by the start of the New Year. Similar to cleaning the house, paying all debts signifies starting the New Year with a clean slate. 
9. Length of Holiday
The New Year starts the night of New Year’s Eve and lasts for fifteen days.  The 15th Day is celebrated as the Lantern Festival, where red lanterns decorate the scene. The festival begins with the new moon and ends when the moon reaches fullness.  The New Year ends with families eating glutinous dumplings on the 15th Day. 
Chen says the fifteen days is a time of idle, “a time to recreate, regenerate, relax, visit friends and family.”
Many businesses also close 3 days to a week after New Year and then reopen. 
10. Temples or other prayer
Whether one visits a temple depends on their regional and national background. It may or may not be done, depending on family affiliation and tradition, says to Nyitray.
"People do go to temples to hear the great bells (or gongs) and drums sounded to welcome in the new year and chase out the old," says Nyitray. "But the suppression of religion in China during the Cultural Revolution led to the cessation of this tradition in areas where it had been prominent." 
Many do visit to hear the gongs and drums that welcome the New Year and chase out the old.
People also observe New Year’s at home. During New Year’s Day, many set up and pay respect to shrines, lighting up incense and burning paper money for their ancestors.
11. Firecrackers
Firecrackers are lit at midnight, just as New Year’s Day begins.  They're used to announce the ending of the old year and to usher in the new.  The noise and flashes of light also drive away any lingering evil spirits.
12. Lion Dance
The Lion Dance serves to bring the community together every New Year. It is believed to bring good fortune and scare away devils.
Lion dances were traditionally performed at the re-opening of businesses. Nowadays their performances could happen anytime during the year.  The lions are believed to chase away evil spirits and to ensure a good opening and prosperity for the business.
According to Chen, the Cantonese brought this tradition to the U.S. in the late 19th century. Today, the Lion Dance is a part of the tradition many major American cities. 
Interested in celebrating? Check our map of Lunar New Year events in Southern California below.