BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Public Library will celebrate the Year of the Rat — the symbol of wealth and vitality — on Thursday, February 6 during its annual salute to Chinese culture.

The free family event, which begins at 5 p.m., will feature a host of interactive and creative activities for adults and children, including Chinese calligraphy, lantern-making and calendars — with several more surprises in the works.

In addition to a brief video about Chinese New Year, there will be a presentation on the history of the Chinese experience in Belmar over the years. In his research for the program, library assistant Luis Pulido has discovered that the borough was home to a Chinese laundry shop on Main Street dating back to 1909.

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Light refreshments will include almond cookies, green tea and bubble tea.

The library is located at 517 10th Avenue. For more information, call 732-681-0775 or visit www.belmarlibrary.org to send a message.

For updates on the library’s various programs and services, visit its website or Facebook page.

YEAR OF THE RAT: FUN FACTS

As Belmar Public Library’s Luis Pulido prepares for Thursday’s celebration of the Chinese New Year, he shares the following information, courtesy of ChineseNewYear.net:

  • In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children.
  • Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life.
  • Recent Years of the Rat are: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and 2020.
  • Optimistic and energetic, people born in the Year of the Rat are likable by all. They are sensitive to others’ emotions but are stubborn in accepting their opinions. Their personality is kind, but because of difficulty in communicating, their words may seem impolite and rude.
  • On the financial side, they like saving and can be stingy. However, their love for hoarding will sometimes cause them to waste money on unnecessary things.

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