After all the busy hustle and bustle of holiday season starting with Thanksgiving, then Christmas and the New Year, most of us are ready to collapse into the quiet of deep winter.

For we Chinese, such rest will remain elusive as we spent January readying for biggest celebration of the year—Chinese New Year!

On Feb. 17, nearly 1.4 billion people, nearly 20 percent of the world’s population, will welcome in the Year of the Dog, according to Chinese zodiac.

Traditionally the Dog is humankind’s best friend, a voiceless being that can understand our spirit just by reading our facial expression and gladly obey whoever is its master no matter your wealth or status.

The sign of the dog is regarded as very auspicious in Chinese tradition. If a dog happens to come to a house, it symbolizes the coming of good fortune.

To ensure happiness and prosperity for the coming year, all Chinese come together to celebrate as bountifully as they can-and this year will be no different.

In order to celebrate The Year of the Dog, HX Chinese School at Plainsboro is planning an evening performance from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the State Theatre in New Brunswick.

This event is made possible in part by funds from the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders/Office of Culture & Heritage and the N.J. State Council on the Arts/Department of State.

The entire evening consists of various kinds of entertainment such as dancing, singing, musical instruments, Chinese kung fu, etc. Performances will feature Chinese culture and tradition displayed in all its diverse glory.

HX Chinese School at Plainsboro is a non-profit, non-religious and non-political organization. Its mission is to teach Chinese to those who are either the offspring of Chinese immigrants living locally or non-Chinese who are interested in learning the language in levels K to 9th grade, as well as offering courses in Chinese culture/traditional activities.

The school also offers Advanced Chinese and Chinese as a Second Language programs. Cultural programs include kung fu, tai chi, fencing, gymnastics, badminton, volleyball, wei qi (go), xiang qi (Chinese chess), math, traditional chinese musical instruments and arts and crafts.

There are about 800 students currently enrolled at PCS. It operates as a regular weekend school starting at 1:30 p.m. and ending at 5:50 p.m. on Sundays at High School North.

PCS has held Chinese New Year celebrations every year since 2005. Since that time the growing student body and the interest in learning Chinese has increased so much that the annual New Year celebration at High School North Theatre or even the McCarter Theater is no longer big enough to host the event.

To accommodate the growing interest, the school board decided to have the New Year Celebration at State Theater in 2017. Amazingly more than 1,600 people attended the event. The high quality and wonderful cultural enrichment this event brings to the surrounding communities is immeasurable. It has become one of the premiere yearly events in New Jersey area.

All are welcome to join our Chinese New Year celebration for 2018. Please feel free to reach out at (732) 829-6755 or (732) 485-6759 for more information.

— Julia Miceler, West Windsor
Miceler is a volunteer at the HX Chinese School.