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houston texas chinese new year celebration A vendor holds dragon puppets at the 2013 Lunar New Year Festival in Houston, Texas. (Photo courtesy Millie Hernandez)

A Texas-Sized Celebration

Houston marks Year of the Snake with Lunar New Year Festival

By Millie Hernandez | February 19 , 2013

Over the weekend, Beltway Plaza in Houston, Texas, was packed with people. They watched performances, ate a variety of foods, and many of them were dressed up in ethnic clothing. They also shopped at booths set up by vendors selling lion and dragon puppets, beautiful jewelry, calendars, clothes, and statuettes.

There was plenty of noise and cheers as the residents of Houston came together at the Lunar New Year Festival to celebrate the start of the Year of the Snake!

A young man and a woman stood in front of a Len Duong Bonfire Passion (LDBP) booth giving out free hugs in celebration of Chinese New Year. LDBP's purpose is to educate Vietnamese young people about their culture, offer volunteering opportunities, and award recognition or scholarships for their hard work.

"We're trying to promote love awareness in our community," one representative said. "In the Asian community, I don't believe my parents hugged me that much when I was growing up. They gave me a lot of tough love, like a push away. So what we do is give away hugs to open up. You know, with personal contact, you open up. It also makes you warmer."

This was the first time LDBP has taken part in the Lunar New Year Festival. The group's representatives said being at the festival was a good way to raise awareness of their organization.

They also said they enjoyed seeing the diverse crowds of people come together at the festival.

"My favorite part of this event has to be the costumes and how there's a lot of mixed kids going around," the other LDBP representative said. "I see how diverse we are as a group, as a community. We don't just invite our race like ourselves, but we accept other races as well."

The feeling of cheerfulness was unmistakable at the festival. Everyone enjoyed themselves, preparing for the good fortune the New Year of the Snake would bring.

"For us, Lunar New Year is a new beginning," one of the LDBP representative said. "I have New Year resolutions during the year and I feel horrible. New Year comes up and there is a second chance!"

Kid Reporter Grace Ybarra shares how her school celebrated Chinese New Year on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Blog. Check out her post, and tell us how you celebrate Chinese New Year!

CHINESE NEW YEAR

How does the rest of the country celebrate Chinese New Year? Find out in the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps's Chinese New Year Special Report!

NEWS FOR KIDS, BY KIDS

Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps.

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