This commemorative plate was presented to the Programs Division of the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures by a member of the San Antonio community and participant in the ITC’s Asian Festival. The inscription on the plate reads,
“Congratulations for Asian New Year Festival 2000.
It is my honor to participate in this festival that opens the new era of another millennium.
I wish you all the best of health, creative life, and lasting glory of god.”
February 6, 2000
2015 will be the 28th year that the Asian Festival will take place here in San Antonio. The festival started as a traditional family reunion 28 years ago and has grown to encompass the Asian community as a whole. The festival gives the entire San Antonio community the ability to see and experience the many different Asian cultures of the San Antonio metro area. There is music, dances, and of course food to try and cooking demonstrations.
The Asian Festival always takes place during the Lunar New Year, with this year’s festival falling on Saturday, February 21st. February 19th is the actual New Year’s Day and marks the beginning of the year 4713 under the Chinese Calendar. The Chinese Calendar follows the lunar cycle, which tracks the cycles of the moon. In the lunar cycle, the first day of each month begins with the new moon (when the moon is at its darkest).
Each year of the Chinese Calendar is associated with a zodiac symbol. These Chinese Zodiac symbols are represented by 12 different animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep/ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar/pig. This year will be the year of the sheep/ram. The Chinese zodiac cycles every 12 years so for your “sign” to come back around you have to wait 12 years. This is unlike the 12 signs of the Astrological Zodiac which cycle throughout each year.
The New Year has several festivities associated with it, but the most important component of the celebration is spending time with family and friends.