Chinese Lantern Festival, Sitka Style

This is the first full moon of the Chinese New Year, the year of the Horse.  That means it’s the Lantern festival.  Sitka celebrated in style with a parade down Lincoln Street.  The Dragon Dancers formed up under the totem pole and danced past the Russian Orthodox Church.  The Celebration included performances by groups like the Celtic Kittens dancers.  Hank, our local bluesman, learned a song in Chinese and sang it.  Mt. Edgecumbe High School had its own dragon dance and students in the Chinese language program sang Chinese songs.   A Mt. Edgecumbe student in a kilt sang Auld Lange Syne, in Chinese, to celebrate the New Year.  We had a moment of silence for all the black cod that gave their lives to fund the festival. The FV Coral Lee was one of the underwriters of the celebration.  We all ate dumplings, noodles and rice along with killer chocolate chip cookies.  A Chinese lantern in the shape of an octopus won the contest for the best lantern.  There was a chop stick race where kids worked to see who could fill up a red solo cup with jellybeans first, using chopsticks.  I love our small, multicultural town where all hands turn out to help celebrate the Chinese community’s holiday.

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