SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ ­– The South Plainfield Public Library and South Plainfield Cultural Arts Commission, through a partnership with Buddha's Light International Association - New Jersey Chapter (BLIA-NJ), will sponsor a Chinese New Year Celebration on Saturday, Feb. 4. The free event will take place at the South Plainfield Senior Center from 12 to 3:30 p.m. and feature activities for the whole family.

“This will offer opportunity for the community to experience Chinese New Year celebration and introduce some very traditional Chinese cultures,” said Yiwen Chiang, vice president of New Brunswick Avenue-based BLIA-NJ. “This will be a good, family event and a group effort with a variety of activities and performances so people will get a good idea of Chinese culture.”

Last year BLIA-NJ Vice President Yiwen Chiang discussed the idea of holding a Chinese New Year celebration with South Plainfield Library Director Linda Hansen and, in December, BLIA-NJ President Andy Young reached out to Mayor Matt Anesh. Councilwoman Christine Faustini, a former trustee of the South Plainfield Public Library and member of the Cultural Arts Commission, was charged with coordinating the event and over the past month has been working closely with Hansen, Young, and Chiang to iron out the details.

Sign Up for E-News

“This will be an exciting celebration full of performances and offerings that will appeal to all family members and ages,” Faustini. “I am very excited and honored to be a part of bringing this extensive and unique cultural event to the South Plainfield community for the first time. Residents will be able to experience the celebratory spirit of Chinese New Year and get to sample many authentic elements of the Chinese culture.”

The Chinese New Year Celebration will kick off at 12:30 p.m. sharp with a Lion Dance and Flag Dance performed by students from the Edison Chinese School. Both the BLIA-NJ Choir and Chin Yun Chorus will also perform throughout the afternoon and there will be a Chinese opera demonstration and a relaxation exercise demonstration. Additionally, the event will feature a Chinese paper cutting demonstration presented by Hou-Tien Cheng; a Master Paper Cutter whose work is done free form, Cheng's art is also on display at the library through the end of February. 

There will also be several booths set up featuring calligraphy, knotting, and brush painting demonstrations. Additionally, there will be several DIY crafts for both children and adults with materials provided by both the library and the BLIA-NJ, as well as informational materials and light refreshments.

Chinese New Year 2017 begins on Jan. 28 and runs for six days; this is the Year of the Rooster. “This will be a great borough celebration and we are very excited about that,” said Chiang. “We want to celebrate culture and bring the community together.”

She continued, "We at BLIA-NJ are so excited to organize the 2017 Chinese New Year Celebration .... [We] are proud to be part of the community [and] it is always our great pleasure and honor to share our culture with our friends of South Plainfield."

“We are looking forward to teaming up with BLIA-NJ and bringing this informative and fun program to the residents of South Plainfield,” added Hansen. “There will be activities for residents of all ages and we encourage everyone to attend the Chinese New Year Celebration.”

For additional information about the Feb. 4 Chinese New Year Celebration, contact the South Plainfield Public Library at (908) 754-7885 or visit http://www.southplainfield.lib.nj.us

Buddha's Light International Association - New Jersey Chapter (BLIA-NJ) and the New Jersey Buddhist Culture Center (NJBBC) 

Venerable Master Hsing Yun was born in Jiangsu Province, China in 1927 and entered a monastery near Nanjing at age 12. He was fully ordained in 1941, and is the 48th patriarch of the Lin-chi(Rinzai) school of Ch’an Buddhism.Soon after his arrival in Taiwan in 1949, he became the chief editor of Human Life, a Buddhist Magazine. In 1952, his efforts in establishing Buddhist Chanting Groups strengthened the foundation for his subsequent endeavors in the promotion of the Dharma.

The Master founded Fo Guang Shan Monastery in 1967, with the primary goal of promoting Humanistic Buddhism through Buddhist education, culture, charity and propagation of the Dharma. Since then, over 200 branch temples have been established in the major cities around the world; the New Jersey Buddhist Culture Center (NJBCC) is one of them.

Venerable Master Hsing Yun also established the Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA-NJ), located at 1007 New Brunswick Avenue in South Plainfield, to provide volunteer opportunities for lay disciples in social service and Dharma propagation. For additional information on BLIA-NJ, call (908) 822-8620; visit http://www.ibps.org/newjersey/english/aboutus.asp; or email newjersey@ibps.org

TAPinto South Plainfield is South Plainfield’s only free daily paper. Sign up to get all the news as it happens at www.TAPinto.net/enews and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SouthPlainfieldTAP/ and on Twitter at @SoplainfieldTAP.