Thinking Outside the Ox

The Chinese New Year is the biggest, best and most colorful of the traditional Chinese holidays, celebrated not just by the Chinese, but by many of the cultures they’ve influenced during their long and storied history. Here in Denver, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate the Year of the Ox, even if your only knowledge of Chinese culture comes from fortune cookies.

The Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu Association will perform its traditional lion dance — meant to scare away evil spirits — and offer kung fu demonstrations at several venues throughout the week. Today, the best place to catch the group is at the Far East Center, at the corner of Alameda Avenue and Federal Boulevard, where members will be performing at noon; after the performance, you can continue your cultural exploration at the center’s authentic Asian shops and restaurants. For a complete schedule, call 303-507-3800 or visit

Another good option today is the Denver Chinese School’s Chinese New Year Celebration, which includes a lion dance, acrobats, traditional music and lunch; it starts at 11:20 a.m. at Cherry Hills Community Church, 3900 Grace Boulevard in Highlands Ranch. Tickets are $15 (advance) to $18 (door) for adults, $12 to $15 for children and seniors. For more information, visit or call 303-694-0547.
Sat., Jan. 31, noon, 2009