Object: Commemorative Plate

I-0662a name concealed
Commemorative Plate
Materials: Ceramic, Glaze, Paint

This commemorative plate was presented to the Programs Division of the Institute of Texan Cultures by a member of the San Antonio community and participant in the ITC’s Annual Asian Festival. The inscription on the plate reads,

Congratulations for Asian New Year Festival 2000.
It is my honor to participate in this festival that opens the new era of another millennium.
I wish you all the best of health, creative life, and lasting glory of god.
February 6, 2000.”

2015 will be the 28th year that the Asian Festival will take place here in San Antonio. The festival started as a traditional family reunion 28 years ago and has grown to encompass the Asian community as a whole. The festival gives the entire San Antonio community the ability to see and experience the many different Asian cultures of the San Antonio metro area. There is music, dances, and of course food to try and cooking demonstrations.


The Chinese Zodiac. Image via internchina.com

The Asian Festival always takes place during the Lunar New Year, with this year’s festival falling on Saturday, February 21st. February 19th is the actual New Year’s Day and marks the beginning of the year 4713 under the Chinese Calendar. The Chinese Calendar follows the lunar cycle, which tracks the cycles of the moon. In the lunar cycle, the first day of each month begins with the new moon (when the moon is at its darkest).

Each year of the Chinese Calendar is associated with a zodiac symbol. These Chinese Zodiac symbols are represented by 12 different animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep/ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar/pig. This year will be the year of the sheep/ram. The Chinese zodiac cycles every 12 years so for your “sign” to come back around you have to wait 12 years. This is unlike the 12 signs of the Astrological Zodiac which cycle throughout each year.

The New Year has several festivities associated with it, but the most important component of the celebration is spending time with family and friends. We have discussed some of these traditions in depth in a previous blog entry, click here to see it.

Please join us on Saturday, February 21st from 10am to 5pm at the Institute of Texan Cultures!! For ticket information follow the link! [Jennifer McPhail]

Discovering China – Chinese New Year!

Additional Reading:

Aijmer, Göran. 2003. New year celebrations in central China in late imperial times. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.

Alston, Isabella, and Kathryn Dixon. 2013. Chinese Zodiac. Havertown: TAJ Books International. http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=1590862.

Flanagan, Alice K., Svetlana Zhurkina, and Linda D. Labbo. 2004. Chinese New Year. Minneapolis, Minn: Compass Point Books.

Hu, William C. 1991. Chinese New Year: fact and folklore. Ann Arbor, Mich: Ars Ceramica.


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