LUNAR NEW YEAR HOUSTON is a nonprofit project of TexAsia /Houston’s Asian American Festival Association, founded in 1980.
Our mission is to preserve, present and promote authentic pan-Asian cultural arts through annual special events for Greater Houston. All our professional productions are Free Admission events for Houston audiences and visitors to the Region.
We launched 2008 Lunar New Year Houston celebrating the Year of the Rat to preserve and protect the artistic and cultural authenticity of our 2,000 year-old New Year heritage for our global region’s international stage.
By 2007, production costs for Lion & Dragon Dances with Lucky Red Firecrackers grew prohibitive for individual businesses and community organizations. Rigorous regulations, fees, permitting, insurance, fire marshals and licensed pyrotechnic contractors put production out of reach for community groups. As the city’s first professional pan-Asian arts presenter, HAAFA committed to save our New Year celebration in all its authentic elements for the benefit of future generations here.
The Lunar New Year is the singular shared cultural keystone of our calendars, venerated across Asia over the millennia. Embedded at its core endures deeply held spiritual and human enterprise significance. Its ritual significance of hope for the future & good fortune runs deep not only in family & faith life, but also in family business. Lunar New Year is truly a celebration where culture & commerce connect!
Lucky Red Firecrackers!
LNYH is the largest Asian special event in the State of Texas. Nationally, it is the only public Lunar New Year event still celebrated with traditional fireworks. Worldwide, many Asian cities no longer permit fireworks with Lion & Dragon Dances in their public New Year celebrations. Asians believe “It’s not really New Year without Firecrackers!” This is likely why LNYH attracts such huge crowds, including tourists.
Lions & Dragons!
The Lion Dance dates back to 510 A.D., while the Dragon Dance’s origin dates to 200 A.D. The Lion, traditionally regarded as a ‘guardian’ creature, figures prominently in Buddhist tradition. Regarded as a ‘sacred’ creature, symbolizing power, courage, righteousness and dignity, the Dragon is considered by the Chinese as the ‘sign of their ethnic identity’.This ancient ritual ceremony holds deep meaning for many Asian cultures.
Our City is home to many Asian cultures that assign great significance to this celebration of the Lunar New Year, including Houstonians from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Okinawa, Korea, Vietnam,Malaysia, Sydney, and Singapore, with each region possessing their own Lion Dance styles.
The Lion Dances presented at LUNAR NEW YEAR HOUSTON are of the ‘Southern style’, performed to exorcise Evil Spirits and to summon Luck & Fortune. The Dragon Dance signifies the end of the year and welcoming New Beginnings, driving away Evil and blessing all with Health & Prosperity.
Dancing atop the roar of Lucky Red Firecrackers, with giant drums, cymbals & gongs, the Lions & Dragons make Great Noise to chase away Bad Fortune of the Old Year.
Our All-Volunteer Production Staff
This is an all-volunteer produced event. Our volunteer professionals contribute their time each year to make this signature International event happen for our World City! A Texas-size THANK YOU to:
Vican Tan Sun, Glenda Joe, Minh Huynh, Jimmy Nguyen, Phan Duy, Mai Le, Amie Tran, Yani Rose Keo, Faye Chin, Mark Takayama, TK Nguyen, Everett Gorel, Tony Joe Yeung, Rathna Kumar, Shiow-zui Sherry Chang, Michael Chou, Marv Kuo, Judd Huang, Lisa Sun, Janet Tang, Hai Nguyen, Brad Goad, Beverly Williams, Jennifer Fanjing Greene, Peter Kuo, and Danielle Surkatty.
Photography Credits: Dean Quach and Mike Le
Lion Dance Teams:
Son Long Lion Dance Linh Son SW Temple
Phap Luan Temple Lion Dance
Teo Chew Temple Lion Dance
Phi Long Lion Dance
Lin Son Youth Association Lion Dance
Linh Son NW Temple Lion Dance
Shaolin Kung Fu Lion Dance
Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Arts
Vovinam Viet Vo Dao Martial Arts
Songshan Shaolin Temple Kung Fu
Music & Dance:
Changlu Wu Classical Chinese Music Ensemble
RMD Japanese Grand Taiko Houston
Korean Farm Drum & Dance Ensemble
Happy Dance Chinese Senior Ensemble
Thu Thuy Vietnamese Traditional Music
Anjali Center for Indian Dance
Ari-Rang Korean Dance Company
Our New Year Stories