Love Feast by Pacific Symphony

Love Feast by Pacific Symphony

Many thanks to our OC philanthropists, Charles & Ling Zhang, “A Love Feast” is made possible through the generous support from them.

Pacific Symphony’s “Chinese New Year: A Love Feast,” an evening of rich, colorful and festive music and dance, welcomes the Lunar New Year with a special, inspiring concert performance. Ushering in the “Year of the Pig” (according to the Chinese zodiac), Music Director Carl St.Clair leads the orchestra as it is joined by a range of talented dancers and singers for a program that is both a visual and aural spectacle. Intertwining Eastern and Western cultures for a celebration unlike any other in Orange County, this virtual “love feast” offers a program of considerable breadth, covering a wide spectrum of entertainment, all in celebration of the Chinese New Year, which this year falls on Feb. 09.

The concert is a gathering of many community artists, coming together on the magnificent stage of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and “It will be a potpourri of singing, dancing and music, including that of the Chinese traditional string instruments guzheng (zither) and pipa. It is ‘East meets West,’ as Board Member Charlie Zhang would say. Charlie, along with his wife, Ling, are the impetus of the concert, affectionately called ‘Love Feast,’ when it was first performed in 2016 in Placentia. The next year, ‘Love Feast’ moved to its current home, and has been on the Symphony’s concert lineup ever since.

”The Chinese New Year”—or Lunar New Year, as it is based on the Lunar Calendar—along with the Symphony’s Lantern Festival on March 4, is a way to celebrate with a growing Chinese and Chinese-American community,” explains Tammy Peng, the Symphony’s Asian-American communities marketing associate, “as well as the broader Asian-American community in Orange County. (The Vietnamese community also celebrates the Lunar New Year, better known as Tet.) It is important for Pacific Symphony to recognize the rich cultural diversity of the county and design programs that resonate with its diverse audiences.”

The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, as it’s been called since the 20th century, remains the most important social holiday in China. Originally tied to the lunar-solar Chinese calendar, the holiday was a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It was also a time to bring family together for feasting. With the popular adoption in China of the Western calendar in 1912, the Chinese joined in celebrating January 1 as New Year’s Day. China, however, continues to celebrate the traditional Chinese New Year, although in a shorter version with a new name—the Spring Festival. Many around the world celebrate both holidays.

The Chinese calendar is a complex timepiece. Its parameters were set according to the lunar phases as well as the solar solstices and equinoxes. Yin and yang, the opposing but complementary principles that make up a harmonious world, also ruled the calendar, as did the Chinese zodiac, the cycle of 12 stations or “signs” along the apparent path of the sun through the cosmos. Each new year was marked by the characteristics of one of the 12 zodiacal animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. This year, 2019, the zodiacal sign of this year is PIG and it represents wealth in Asian culture.