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Photo by Chayce Lanphear

Where to Celebrate the Chinese and Vietnamese New Year in Colorado

Ring in the new decade with the Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center dragon and lion dance performances.

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Popping Champagne bottles as the Times Square Ball completes its plunge seems pretty festive—until you witness the riveting dances of a Chinese and Vietnamese New Year celebration. The teams who work together to operate elaborate lion and dragon costumes are particularly enthralling, and this month, those performances will hold special meaning for one of the state’s biggest squads. Starting with a show outside Park Hill Supermarket on January 11, the Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center (CACHC) will begin celebrating its 15th anniversary and the new decade by traveling the Front Range and exhibiting complex moves the 45-person team usually reserves for competitions. Leaping from pillar to pillar (some as tall as nine feet), for example, is a dangerous element the group has not attempted in years. But the routine represents more than a bunch of flashy tricks. “You don’t just go out there and shake the lion or dragon head,” says Phong Vo, the coach and founder of CACHC. “Everything you do, it must have a storyline.” Each performance in this series will depict a lion’s journey to save a village overtaken by illness—symbolically wishing a healthy 2020 to all.

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