Celebrate Asian culture at Lunar Fest NJ

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — SOMA Cross-Cultural Works will host Lunar Fest NJ, to celebrate the Year of the Dog, on Sunday, March 4, from noon to 6 p.m. at The Woodland, 60 Woodland Road in Maplewood. This free event, which will have food, music, dance and children’s activities, will feature a Chinese lion dance, Korean drums and a Vietnamese fan dance.

The Lunar New Year, marks the start of the lunisolar calendar and is an important holiday in many Asian cultures. SOMA Cross-Cultural Works, the local nonprofit organization behind last year’s inaugural Diwali Fest NJ, has once again partnered with the township of Maplewood to host the first-ever Lunar Fest NJ, a unique multicultural celebration of the Year of the Dog. This special celebration of Asian cultures invites the whole community and is free to the public.

Lunar Fest NJ will kick off at noon when the Chinese Freemasons Athletic Club performs a lion dance to ward off evil and bring luck for the New Year. The lion dance will be followed by performances and interactive presentations by a variety of professional artists from the New York Chinese Cultural Center, the Woorigarak Korean Cultural Art Center, the Vietnam Heritage Center and the NJ School of Percussion. The award-winning author and illustrator who designed the official commemorative 2018 Year of the Dog USPS stamp, Kam Mak, will be at the festival to share his work and lead a stamp-designing activity with children.

Throughout the day, visitors will have the opportunity to sample a wide variety of cuisines and delicious foods, including sushi, Korean, Thai and Chinese fusion. Lunar Fest NJ will offer an array of children’s hands-on activities including traditional Chinese paper-cutting, calligraphy and origami. Organized entirely by volunteers from South Orange and Maplewood, Lunar Fest NJ will offer a full day filled with multicultural performances, activities, vendors and food. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/LunarFestNJ/.