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Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Portland welcomes the year of the dragon

Chinese Friendship Association of Portland
Feb. 2 at 5:30 p.m. at the Keller Auditorium, the 2024 Lunar New Year Gala will feature diverse local cultural groups alongside world-class performers.

Vibrant performances, cultural foods and colorful lanterns illuminate Portland as communities celebrate the year of the dragon. Kick off 2024 by participating in February’s must-see Lunar New Year events.

On Feb. 2 at 5:30 p.m., the Chinese Friendship Association of Portland (CFAP) is hosting the 2024 Lunar New Year Gala at the Keller Auditorium. 

“The gala is the most prestigious Asian event in the Oregon community,” said Jiong Zhang, a board member of the CFAP and president of Intel’s Chinese employee network.

The event highlights diverse local cultural groups alongside world-class performances such as Sichuan Opera face-changing—a dramatic art form where performers rapidly change between bright colored masks—as well as stages from internationally acclaimed singer Xiaoshu Wang and Wushu champions.  

Iris Zhao is the founder and former president of the CFAP. She believes that celebration is vital for cross-cultural understanding.

“We want them to hear our voice and see our culture and tradition so that they can better understand the needs of our community,” Zhao said.

Lincoln High School senior, Elise Yu, has performed at the event for years as a dancer at Oregon’s International Ballet Academy (OIBA). Yu appreciates the Lunar New Year Gala the most for allowing her to share the arts with the greater Portland community. 

“These performance styles are something everyone should experience,” said Yu. “The arts allow people to gather and form community, especially during these events like Lunar New Years.”

Tickets start at $25. Learn more about the event on the Chinese Friendship Association of Portland’s website (  

On Feb. 3, you can visit the Chinese New Year Cultural Fair at the Oregon Convention center for free from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Organized by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations, the fair showcases a variety of traditional and contemporary Chinese cultural activities including folk dances, instrumental music, calligraphy, martial arts and games. 

From Feb. 7 to March 2, you can view the Lunar New Year lanterns at the Lansu Gardens. Located in the heart of Chinatown, the garden will be illuminated with large-scale floating lantern sculptures paired with dragon dances and interactive cultural activities. 

Learn more about available viewing opportunities and reserve general admission tickets for $45 on Lansu Garden’s website (

On Feb. 9 starting from 5 p.m., the Asian Student Union (ASU) affinity group is hosting Lincoln’s Lunar New Year celebration in the commons. Senior Kyle Chen is a co-president of ASU. 

“ASU strives to foster an Asian community at Lincoln that connects people through shared cultural experiences. Our club commonly does activities like making mooncakes and paper-cutting, as well as organizing the Multicultural Night and Lunar New Year Event,” said Chen.

The event itself will feature catered foods from Vietnam, South Korea and China, as well as activities and traditional performances. Admission is free, however attendees can expect to bring around $8 to $12 for food that can be paid in cash or through Venmo and School Pay.

“There’s going to be activities like playing traditional board games, learning how to use traditional tea sets, wearing hanfu as well as watching performances by dance teams and dragon dancers,” said Chen. 

Chen believes that multicultural events are vital in uplifting underrepresented groups. 

“Lunar New Year and other cultural events at Lincoln are important for empowering minority voices and bringing our culture forward by immersing others in our culture,” said Chen.

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Erika Leung
Erika Leung, Reporter
Erika is a senior this year. She is excited to bring a new creative perspective to the Cardinal Times and investigate issues that all students and communities can enjoy! Her favorite things to write are articles highlighting students, environmental justice-related pieces, and community reviews.
Contact by emailing [email protected] and put the reporter's name in the subject line.

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