2017 is the year of the rooster, and you can celebrate by ringing in the Chinese New Year at Houston’s Texas Lunar Festival. The event, which has been recurring for 21-years, features cultural performances, traditional dance, food, music, and more. Thousands of people flock to Houston from around the great state of Texas to celebrate the arrival of the Chinese New Year. Here are five reasons why you should attend the 2017 Texas Lunar Festival.

1. Peking Opera will be performed

Peking Opera is a type of Chinese opera which combines many aspects of the arts, from vocal performances and music to dance, mime and even acrobatics. This style of performance first began appearing in the late 18th century and became highly recognized in the 19th century, as it was extremely popular during the Qing Dynasty. Today Peking Opera is regarded by many as one of the most important cultural contributions from China. At this year’s Lunar Fest, Peking Opera will be performed by artists from the nationally-renowned J&H Dance School in Houston. The performance will begin at 12:25 p.m.

2. You can see Kung Fu action live

The International Shaolin Wushu Center will be performing, Ho Quan, a style of Kung Fu, known as the monkey fist, at the 2017 Texas Lunar Festival. Ho Quan is a style of martial arts that has been practiced and taught for centuries. Attendees can expect to see flips, jumps and kicks during the performance that celebrates the Asian Lunar New Year. The International Shaolin Wushu Center is set to perform at 12:10 p.m.

3. There will be lion and dragon dance

Both important parts of the Chinese culture, lion and dragon dance are commonly performed during festive times and throughout times of celebration, which means that festival-goers will be able to see the dances first hand at the Texas Lunar Festival. It is believed that the dragon from the traditional dragon dance brings good fortune and drives out evil, and is also said to represent nobility and prowess. Get to the festival early, the performance will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m.

4. You can hear the North American Youth Orchestra

Treat your ears to the sounds of the North American Youth Orchestra. The family-friendly show will feature the talented group of young, pre-teen and teen musicians, whom are set to take the stage at 11:30 a.m.

5. It’s free to attend

The 2017 Texas Lunar Festival is free for everyone. The admission-free event offers back-to-back performances and acts throughout the entire day, from open to close that are suited for the entire family, whether you prefer martial arts or traditional dance. Parking can be found nearby the festival entrance. Food will be available for purchase from market-style vendors at the Lunar Festival.
When: Saturday, February 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 11122 Bellaire Blvd., Houston (in front of the Southern News Group Building)
For more information about the Texas Lunar Festival, visit the event website: http://www.texaslunarfest.net/home.html

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