NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Ringing in the Chinese New Year is now officially a tradition at the DeCorso Center as the New Providence Diversity Committee and the New Providence Chinese Community (NPCC) held it’s third annual celebration on Sunday.  

The event, organized by Jane Xu along with the New Providence Diversity Committee, attracted nearly 300 community members. The preparations started in early November as the more than 50 volunteers were actively involved in all kinds of arrangements, including screening the talent shows and its moderators, seeking sponsorship from corporations, and designing and preparing the decorations. Xu has been very happy with the response to this event; “New Providence is a unique town, where we celebrate the major festivals of different races all the year round. Our goal is to have more and more people involved in diversity activities in future events.”

The celebration began with a buffet of Chinese dishes from local restaurants as well as pot luck fare, sponsors included Dim Sum Villa, East, Fan Bistro, Szechuan Village, Chef Jon’s, Ye’s Asian Bistro and Hop Hing. Zita’s donated ice cream and the Central Farmers Market donated the fruit.

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To kick off the days celebrations, Mayor Al Morgan gave the opening remarks, “I know we’re one of the few towns around that celebrate the Chinese New Year. The Chinese community in New Providence is very apparent, you look at our schools and it’s great to have so many kids in our schools, great pioneers, and great academically and they have enhanced our music department to say the least.  I’m very honored to be here with all of you.”

This was followed by over a dozen performances, including folk dancing, Latin dancing, Chinese opera, a piano duet, Mongolian chopsticks dance, a piano flute ensemble, a violin and cello trio and ballroom dancing.

“The most impressive parts of the celebration are the amazing decorations and the excellent talent shows moderated by the young students. It is our volunteers’ tremendous efforts and dedication that makes our Chinese New Year celebration such a quality event. As a result, we received generous sponsorship and kind donations from 29 corporations and individuals,” said Xu of the very successful event she organized.

Sunil Abrol, the chairman of the Diversity Committee that hosted the event, is proud of the response to these events, “The Chinese community in New Providence is the envy of the neighboring towns as we are one of the few to celebrate the Chinese New Year,” he then commended Jane Xu for her work in organizing the event. He closed his remarks with an appeal for inclusion, “ The human family is a tree, with all of us as leaves and each leaf is precious, it sustains the growth of that tree. Welcome each other as members of one human family.”

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, is celebrated by many countries in Asia and is inarguably one of the biggest holidays. It commemorates the beginning of a New Year and of spring and is based around the moon’s cycle, as opposed to calendar date as is done with the conventional New Year.  Each year the Chinese calendar assigns an animal from a rotating zodiac of 12 animals. In Chinese astrology, each animal sign is also associated with one of the five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire, or Earth. 2017 is the year of the Fire Rooster, a combination that will not recur for another 60 years.