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Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Foundation hosts Lunar New Year storytelling event

Lion dances outside in downtown Grand Rapids
World of Winter Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Foundation hosts Lunar New Year storytelling event

The event, which includes cultural stories, lion dances and free mochi donuts runs from 2-4pm in downtown Grand Rapids this Saturday.

The Lunar New Year is one of the biggest celebrations across many East and Southeast Asian cultures. Tied to the lunar calendar, it’s a holiday rooted in togetherness, reunion and hope.

“It’s a new beginning and it’s when you’re cleansed and start anew," Ace Marasigan with the Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Foundation (GRAPF) said.

GRAPF is bringing festivities to downtown Grand Rapids on Saturday. The pop-up event, which runs from 2-4pm, will feature cultural favorites like lion dances, free mochi donuts and stories from various cultures, such as Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean, each talking about their individual Lunar New Year traditions.

“It’s all about Lunar New Year in their home country. You’ll hear the similarities, and you'll also hear some of the subtle differences in the way people celebrate it in each country," Marasigan said. "I feel like even if you don't celebrate Lunar New Year, that you'll be able to see yourself and relate to people that do."

The foundation works year round to cultivate spaces of belonging for Asian communities in the area. After a difficult past year, combating a national rise in Asian-targeted hate crimes amid the pandemic, Marasigan says there’s a big emphasis on the new year. With 2022 being the year of the Tiger, he said he hopes to see it’s symbol of courage and strength in the community.

“Personally this means the start of something new. This is the year that I encourage people to take courage where they put themselves out there, where we can actually learn from other people. This is the time we all spend time together. This is where we start those conversations, those important conversations, to build communities and bring healing," he said.

More information regarding Lunar New Year celebrations in downtown Grand Rapids can be found here.

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