By Sam Skopp
In celebration of the Lunar New Year, celebrated famously in China as well as in Korea, Vietnam and other Asian countries, a Year of the Rooster-themed celebration was held on Saturday, January 28 in the center of the Santa Monica Place shopping mall.
“The day is really just about celebration and community. We have something for the whole family,” said Stephanie Eglin, Senior Manager, Marketing at Santa Monica Place.
The event included a central stage, featuring performances by traditional Chinese musicians and vocalists and in front of the stage a Korean Fan Dance and a Chinese Lion Dance throughout the day. In between acts, “The Voice” contestant Katherine Ho acted as special host and MC. The dances on the mainstage attracted large crowds of both those looking to celebrate the Lunar New Year with their local community dressed in the color red traditionally associated with luck in Chinese culture, as well as unsuspecting shoppers and visitors sticking around to participate.
Beyond the central stage, the festivities extended to all branches of the mall as well as some of the businesses that were wishing mallgoers a Happy Lunar New Year, and in some cases offering special holiday discounts. Red decorations were hung all over, and a pair of Chinese stilt walkers posed for photos with passersby.
“We work with partners who specialize in cultural events to procure authentic talent for the Lunar New Year,” said Eglin.
For children, the mall set up a table with Rooster-themed crafts that was crowded with kids of all ages throughout the afternoon. A wishing tree was also set up on which participants could hang a wish contained in a red envelope for a small donation. All of the proceeds from the wishing tree are being donated to Love Without Boundaries, which is a charity that provides care for orphaned and impoverished children.
For more information about upcoming events at Santa Monica Place, visit santamonicaplace.com and for more information about Love Without Boundaries, visit lovewithoutboundaries.com.