HOUSTON, Texas -- Houston's Lunar New Year Festival is back and will be in person this year, celebrating the year of the tiger, symbolizing bravery and courage.
The event will happen Saturday, Feb. 5 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Chinese Community Center Houston, where their ample grounds will allow enough space for everyone to spread out.
Festival organizer Mei Li gave ABC13 a sneak peek of what is new at the festival for 2022, as the center works to showcase Chinese culture, bringing hope and education to the community.
Festivities include traditional lion and dragon dances, a Shaolin Kung Fu performance, and interactive games. Along with art vendors and Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food trucks, the Chinese School will also have students on hand to teach others how to write in calligraphy.
Click here to learn more about the 2022 Lunar New Year Festival in Houston
After the event went virtual last year due to rising COVID-19 infections, Li said she is thrilled at the chance to catch neighbors and friends in person again.
"I do hope to use this celebration to give people this kind of confidence to conquer the current pandemic and to recover," Li said. "This is one of the reasons we really want to have this event in person, to use this strong image (of the tiger) to give people a little confidence."
This year's festival is also an opportunity to help highlight the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in our community. Li said H-E-B will administer flu and COVID-19 vaccines for anyone wanting to take their jabs at this year's event.
"We do anticipate a big crowd, so we want to use this opportunity to educate people about vaccines," Li said.
Watch: Miya Shay shares more on Lunar New Year traditions
The Lunar New Year festivities have traditions that Li compares to Thanksgiving, normally celebrated with the entire family gathering around a table full of traditional Chinese foods.
According to custom, many stay awake until after midnight to pop fireworks.
"You eat, take a break, then you come back and eat again," Li said.
The next morning, young children of the household traditionally approach their elders and wish them blessings and good fortune. In return, children receive a red envelope with money inside, Li said.
As in years past, the lucky red envelopes will be back at the festival.
Chinese Community Center Houston is located at 9800 Town Park Dr., in Houston.
Lunar New Year: Swipe through this photo gallery from the Chinese Community Center's 2020 celebration