Chinese group plans New Year party

Posted: February 7, 2013

The Winchester Star

Lee-Min Baumgartner plays a guzheng at her home. She will be performing on the Chinese instrument at a Chinese New Year celebration Saturday at Keystone Baptist Church in Clarke County and sponsored by the Winchester Chinese Christian Fellowship. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
Lee-Min Baumgartner plays the guzheng, a Chinese zither, with Tracey Guiliani (left), Huixian Holt and Ivy Fei. A Chinese New Year’s celebration will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Keystone Baptist Church, Berryville. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
Tracey Guiliani shows some of the auction items for the Winchester Chinese Christian Fellowship’s Chinese New Year event Saturday at Keystone Baptist Church.

Berryville — The Winchester Chinese Christian Fellowship wants to share its celebration of the Chinese New Year with the community.

The nondenominational group of almost 100 members will welcome the year of the snake with a day of food and culture, said Huixian Holt, one of the organizers. The event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Keystone Baptist Church, 15 Keystone Lane, Berryville.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $7 for children ages 6 to 10 and free for 5 and under. No tickets will be sold at the door.

“We thought this would be a great way to involve the community and share our culture,” said Holt, 35, of Frederick County.

Chinese New Year, which falls on Sunday this year, is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, she said. It is a time of family and feasting, but this year, the fellowship wanted to invite others into the mix.

The event also will be a fundraiser for an activity building at Keystone Baptist, which has allowed the fellowship to meet at the church at 1:30 p.m. every Sunday afternoon for four years, said Lee-Min Baumgartner, another organizer. J.E. Wu leads the service in Chinese.

“We have been wanting to fundraiser for Keystone for a long time,” said Baumgartner, 42, of Winchester.

Wu and Keystone’s pastor, the Rev. Douglas Wright, will open the event at noon with remarks and a benediction, she said.

The meal will consist of dishes donated by a variety of local restaurants: Chop Stick Café, China House, China Wok, China Garden, China Gourmet, Berry Berry Frozen Yogurt, Nori Japan, Sake Sushi, China Dragon, and Asian Garden, Holt said.

During the meal, people can bid on silent and live auction items, said Baumgartner, who immigrated from Taiwain in 1989 and came to Winchester in 2004.

Among the live auction items are a display of small masks like those worn in a Chinese opera and a scroll with “The Art of War,” an ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu, written in Chinese.

Some of the silent auction items are a calligraphy representation of the description of love found in 1 Corinthians and a traditional costume worn by some in the western part of China.

Chinese culture in all its forms will be highlighted at the event, Baumgartner said. Toward the end of the meal, there will be a demonstration on how to make dumplings, followed by a few people trying to recreate what they have just seen.

There also will be a demonstration of calligraphy by Rui Xia where people can try their hand at making a few characters, said Holt, who immigrated to the United States from China in 1996 and to Frederick County in 2005.

“We feel this is a really strong part of Chinese culture,” she said. “It is not just a language, it is art.”

A demonstration on Chinese knotting will give people an idea of how the handicraft was used for both decorations and practical uses such as serving as buttons for clothing, said Tracey Guiliani, 42, of Frederick County.

“Before the button was invented, that is what the Chinese used,” she said.

The end of the celebration will consist of a talent show demonstrating different aspects of traditional and modern life, Guiliani said. Several of them are musical programs, including songs performed by Baumgartner and Yashar Garzan on the “gu zheng,” also known as a Chinese harp or table harp.

Students from Shenandoah Conservatory will play the violin, she said. Someone else will perform on the “hulusi,” an ancient single pipe free-reed instrument from China.

Other acts include a “qi pao” fashion show, to highlight a popular style of Chinese dress, and another calligraphy demonstration, Guiliani said.

The group especially wants to reach out to people of Chinese heritage or couples who have adopted children from China, she said. For adoptive parents who want their children to connect with their Chinese heritage, the fellowship offers free lessons in Chinese culture and language Sunday afternoons.

“We work here and live here, so we really want to blend the culture of this place with Chinese culture to show we are part of both,” said Guiliani, who moved to Frederick County from China in 2000.

Informaton

A Chinese New Year celebration will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Keystone Baptist Church, 15 Keystone Lane, Berryville. Tickets are $15 for adults, $7 for children ages 6 to 10 and free for 5 and under.

To purchase tickets, call Holt at 540-533-4999.

— Contact Laura McFarland at lmcfarland@winchesterstar.com