Coast Asian Community Celebrates Year Of The Sheep - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/01/03

Coast Asian Community Celebrates Year Of The Sheep

"Cung He Fat Choy," and if you don't speak Chinese that means "Happy New Year". According to the Asian calendar Saturday was New Year's Day. WLOX went to two celebrations here on the coast.

With a thunder of sound and smoke the sleeping dragon awoke and started to dance outside the China Rose restaurant in Ocean Springs.

Lam Nguyen, a long time dragon dancer said "It's fun. It's fun while you're doing it and do all them moves and stuff."

The dragons fancy moves aren't just for show and his New Years ritual is supposed to bring prosperity.

"He just basically chases all the negative stuff or all the bad demons anything that's negative that you start the year right," said restaurant owner Casey Cao.

Cao says starting the year right is important because in Asian culture however New Years day is spent, the rest of the year will follow suit. He says that's why items associated with the new year like bamboo, the color red, and cabbage center around bringing good luck.

Many of those bringing in the new year at the Buddhist Temple in Biloxi say there's a kind of pride that comes from remembering and honoring their ancestry.

Marc Nguyen was born in Vietnam then later immigrated to the United States. He said "A lot of times we forget our roots, where we're from and how we got here and what we did to get where we are today but tradition reminds us of where we are from."

This year is the Year of the Sheep.

by Danielle Thomas

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