Children’s Museum celebrates Chinese New Year |

Children’s Museum celebrates Chinese New Year

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal A dragon dances at the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada during the Chinese New Year's celebration on Saturday.

Eight-year-old Donya Mobaligh of Carson City spent her Saturday half a world away.

She made a lantern and a dragon mask, but said her favorite part was watching the lion dance through the aisles and onto the stage.

“It’s for Chinese New Year,” she said. “There are different animals for the different years. I think the next one is the boar. That’s a pig,” Donya said.

The Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada hosted numerous activities and programs Saturday as part of the new year celebration, including Tae Kwon Do demonstrations, mask making and lessons in using chopsticks.

Penny Holbrook, museum board member, said, “I hope the kids come away with a respect for another culture and keep learning.”

Donya said she didn’t know a lot about the new year, but did know about China.

“Mostly everything comes from there, and they have really good food,” she said.

New to the celebration was a large replica of a lion’s head, which was used in traditional dances to celebrate the changing of the year.

The head was brought from China by C.J. Wang, who lives in Northern Nevada but does business overseas.

“The dancing lion seen on Chinese New Year brings good luck and for businesses will bring good business in the coming year. People give money to the dancers for showing up to give them the luck,” Wang said.

The design of the mask varies depending on the region of the country, with the northern lion’s head being more realistic and the southern lion’s head being more exaggerated.

“The southern lion is more decorative because of the Cantonese influence, it really doesn’t look like a loin’s head,” Wang said.

In order for the dance to be successful, the pupils must be added to the mask to bring the lion to life and allow it to dance. Saturday, that task fell to Holbrook.

“I love Chinese culture. We have such a large Chinese population, I think it’s important to celebrate and share the culture,” Holbrook said.

Over at the crafts table, Spencer Dawley, 8, of Carson City, was making a dragon mask. Dawley said he learned about the Chinese New Year at his school, including why the years are represented by animals.

“There are different animals because the Sky God, and the Ground God couldn’t keep it straight so they had a race that lasted 12 years. That’s why the calendar has 12 animals,” Dawley said.

The celebration also included breaking and forms demonstrations by Chi Kwan Tae Kwon Do and chopstick lesson with noodles provided by Beijing Palace. Eating noodles around the new year is a tradition designed to bring about a longer life.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.

Year of the Boar

A year of goodwill to all. An excellent climate for business, and industry in general will prevail. People will be more free and easy on the whole, and the complaisant attitude of the Boar will generate a feeling of abundance.

But in spite of the favorable auspices here, like the Boar we will hesitate, waver and undermine our own abilities when opportunity calls.

– Source: