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Year of The Dragon celebration with WMHO

Akiyo Liberson and Hiroko Makabe, members of the

Akiyo Liberson and Hiroko Makabe, members of the Stony Brook Taiko Drum Ensemble perform during a Chinese New Year celebration at Ward Melville Heritage Organization's Educational and Cultural Center. (Feb. 6, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization is marking the Chinese New Year with a two-hour gala good for the whole family.

A festival that runs for 15 days, it is a welcome to the impending spring season, and it entails feasting, gift-giving and a commemoration of customs – as well as a time for gathering and publicly rejoicing. Also known as the “Lunar New Year” and the “Spring Festival,” it is the beginning of the Chinese year 4710, and also known on the calendar as the Year of the Dragon – long-considered to be an especially auspicious year (children born during a dragon year are often believed destined for success). With that, chances are the festivities are expected to be extra-grand – and for those who would like to join in, the WMHO Educational and Cultural Center is hosting a get-together on Sunday, Jan. 29, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Advance reservations are required (adults are $10, seniors and children 11 and younger are $8) for this show that includes a performance from a “taiko” (drum) ensemble and the “Lion Dance,” the parade-favorite and cultural standard where dancers move as a lion would while working inside of a two-man lion costume (and for the kids under 12, the performances will be followed by a craft activity).

For more information, call 631-689-5888 or check online at wmho.org or facebook.com/StonyBrookVillageCtr.

WMHO Educational and Cultural Center (in the Stony Brook Village Center) : 105 Main St., Stony Brook

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