Celebrate the Year of the Rat

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Here’s to wealth and prosperity in the new decade.

The Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival and Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. are working together to present the Lunar New Year Festival as part of the 2020 World of Winter Festival.

“We are very excited to welcome the Lunar New Year and share a piece of our culture with the Grand Rapids community,” said Ace Marasigan, founder and CEO of the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival. “It may be cold outside, but we plan to share a warm-hearted experience.”

The free inaugural event will take place on from 5-9 p.m. Jan. 25 at 555 Monroe Ave. NW and will feature dragon dance performances, firecrackers, lion dancers, prizes and food from local vendors.

The Lunar New Year marks the beginning of a new Chinese Zodiac, which assigns an animal and its attributes to each year of a 12-year cycle. 2020 is the Year of the Rat and the beginning of a new rotation.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, rats are a symbol of wealth and surplus. Because of their high reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children. People born in the Year of the Rat are believed to be clever, industrious and thrifty.

The World of Winter Festival, organized by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and community partners, provides ways for people to get outside and enjoy the season.

“Our annual World of Winter festival provides many opportunities for community members to come together, enjoy the beauty of winter and engage with diverse cultures that call our city home,” said Megan Catcho, event coordinator for Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. “Bring your friends and families out for a night of memorable experiences.”

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