LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles City Council celebrated the Lunar New Year today by inviting a group of lion dancers into the council chamber, followed by a reception featuring Korean drummers and Thai candle dancers and a luncheon.
``I am honored today to join my city colleagues in celebrating the Lunar New Year,'' said Councilman David Ryu. ``This holiday is deeply important to many Asian-American communities as a centuries-old tradition and celebration of culture and community. The city of Los Angeles is thrilled to join them in ushering in harmony and goodwill in this Year of the Earth Dog.''
The Lunar New Year is a holiday celebrated at the beginning of the Chinese lunisolar calendar and is observed by many Asian countries, including China, Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore.
Feb. 16 begins the year of the Earth Dog, and in recognition of the new year, the city's Animal Services Department joined the event with canines from local shelters available for adoption.
``Los Angeles is America's melting pot and we are a stronger city by celebrating our cultural diversity,'' Council President Herb Wesson said. ``We wish all Angelenos good fortune and good luck this Lunar New Year.''
On Saturday, the holiday will be celebrated in Chinatown with the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade at 1 p.m. on Broadway.
``It is an honor to partner with my colleague. Councilmember David Ryu. to host this year's Lunar New Year celebration,'' said Councilman Gil Cedillo. ``As a representative of the Chinatown and Lincoln Heights communities, it gives me great pleasure to welcome in the new year by wishing all our constituents a prosperous and joyous new year."
Los Angeles County is home to more than 1.8 million Asian Americans.