Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year to all!

On February 17, 2010 the Downtown San Mateo Association will be hosting a celebration of the Lunar New Year with a a lion dance celebration throughout Downtown San Mateo. The event is designed to celbrate the diversity of our businesses, and promises to be a great event for everyone. Please see the flyer below, and please make plans to make it to Downtown San Mateo on Feb. 27!


WHAT: Lion Dance Performance and Lunar New Year Celebration

WHERE: Downtown San Mateo; Beginning at East West Bank at 491 S. El Camino Real

WHEN: Saturday, February 27th, 11am - 1pm

INFO: Call 650.342.5520 or visit

PRESS: Contact Liz Stigge at 650-548-6700 or email at

Downtown San Mateo Rings in the “Year of the Tiger” at Lunar New Year Celebration

Special Lion Dance Featuring Shaolin Cultural Center and Gee Yung Lion Dance Association

(San Mateo, Calif., February 2010) – On Saturday, February 27th, from 11am – 1pm, local students from Shaolin Cultural Center and the Gee Yung Lion Dance Association will participate in a traditional Lion Dance to usher in the Lunar New Year. Two Lion Dance teams will snake their way through Downtown San Mateo, stopping at various businesses to perform a brief dance that welcomes the New Year. When the Lions have completed the dance, it’s customary to reward them with a small monetary donation to thank it for the blessing. After the Lions visit all the participating Downtown businesses, they will give a final performance at Self Help for the Elderly at 50 East 5th Avenue at 1:30 pm.

The Lion Dance is a common custom in Asian societies and is meant to symbolize good luck, fortune and prosperity. Its practice in the United States originates from the Guangdong Province and is different from the Northern Lions seen in the Beijing Opera or acrobatic performances. The lion dances usually are performed by members of gong-fu (kung-fu) schools and reflect that style. For example, in Hung Gar, the students practice very deep “horse” stances, with the power coming from twisting and rotating the waist. No matter what style, the lion movements are always feline in nature.

For a proper lion dance, the movements must match the music played by a minimum of three instruments: drum, gong and cymbal. All of the movements must be synchronized to the music and usually follow a specified sequence: for example, the 3-Star movement, then the 7-Star movement, followed by High Dance. The loud music, along with the firecrackers and staccato movements of the lion, are used to scare away “evil spirits” so that good luck will follow.

The Lion Dance is just one of the many Lunar New Year events that will be taking place in Downtown San Mateo. The day after the exciting Lion Dance performance, Sunday, February 28th from 1-4pm, Self Help for the Elderly (SHE) will participating in special event sponsored by San Mateo Public Library that features traditional musicians, crafts, Asian snacks and more. Dancers from the Shaolin Cultural Center will also perform a Lion Dance outdoor from starting at 1pm. The event is free to the public and funds raised will help support SHE and the San Mateo Public Library.

The Downtown San Mateo Lunar New Year celebration is supported by the Downtown San Mateo Association, Self-Help for the Elderly, East West Bank, New York Life Insurance and City Councilman David Lim.

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