Birmingham Chinese New Year Festival – Part 3

This is the third and final of a three-part post about the Birmingham Chinese Festival Association and the annual Chinese New Year Festival.

CNYF entranceOne of the things I love the best about festivals is getting to photograph them.  Cultural events are guaranteed to give you a lot of colorful options and the Chinese New Year festival is no exception.  This past year, I arrived at the festival a little late – so I missed the opening ceremony and the dragon dance.  I was a little disappointed about that, but as I entered the Boutwell Auditorium the acts on the main stage immediately got my attention and I almost ran up to them to take photos!

IMG_1844During the entertainment breaks, I walked through the exhibits…the first booth that drew my attention was the Confucian Academy.  There I spotted not one, but two men dressed as Confucius helping each other with their beards!   Adorable!  Later one of the men posed with me for a picture while the other one was busy writing names and other phrases for people in Chinese.

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A little further down, a long table was set up with books, interesting knickknacks and some watercolor paintings.  The chicken got my attention right off the bat.  I don’t know what it is about chickens but I could probably be a collector if I’m not careful.  I think they look beautiful in a kitchen.  So, I quickly grabbed it up for $10 and asked if the artist was nearby because I wanted to meet her and also get her to sign the painting.  Her name was Karen, and she also told me her Chinese name.  I sure wish I could remember it now but when I repeated it to her, she said I was saying it correctly which made me happy.  She then posed for a picture with me along with the painting.  Turns out, I was at the Troy University Confucius Institute’s (CIT) table.  I know Troy has a very robust international program and it was great to see them in Birmingham for this festival so more people could learn about it.

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For the remainder of the time I was there, I stood in front of the elevated sound and light system and took pictures of the stage performances.  Everything from yoga dancers to sword dancing to a guy juggling a large chinese vase and finally a guy balancing on numerous stacked chairs.  Everyone of these acts so colorful and leaving the crowd anxious for the next.  Here are a few of my favorites from this past year.  Sometimes, it’s hard to narrow them down!

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