Mozart’s Coffee Roasters Hosts Lunar New Year Celebration
Mar 17, 2024

Mozart’s Coffee Roasters Hosts Lunar New Year Celebration

Reporting Texas TV

AUSTIN, Texas — Lion dance performances, scrumptious treats, martial arts demonstrations and face painting attracted locals to Mozart’s Coffee Roasters on Feb. 24 for a Lunar New Year festival.

Lunar New Year, a celebration across Asia, is a commemoration of the arrival of spring and the start of a new year based on the lunisolar calendar. It begins on the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends 15 days later when the first full moon arrives.

Each year is represented by one of 12 animals from the Chinese zodiac: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. This year is the Year of the Dragon, and the Heavenly Dragon Lion Dance Association brought cultural dances to Mozart’s .

“The dragon is one of the most important beings in East Asian cultures,” said Maya Goodman, a lion dance performer with the Heavenly Dragon troupe.

“So of course, all of the celebrations are insane this year. Everyone is going all out. There are giant celebrations which are really cool to see.”

Attendees celebrate Lunar New Year at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. The celebration was the first Lunar New Year festival hosted by the venue since its opening in 1993.  (Tori Garcia/Reporting Texas TV)

In years past, Mozart’s Coffee Roasters acknowledged and celebrated Lunar New Year with a festive bakery treat. However, when Audrey Herrera joined Mozart’s team as an event manager this year, she turned the small holiday treat into a massive festival.

“At Mozart’s, we believe that everyone’s welcome,” Herrera said.

“We want to make sure that we celebrate every holiday for all people. For Lunar New Year, we have a great facility where we can have these wonderful performances, and we have so many great community partners that are happy to perform for us.”

The Feb. 24 festival lasted from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with performances from Texas Wushu, The Love of China School of Dance and others. However, Goodman said the Heavenly Dragon Lion Dance Association’s performance was a main attraction for many attendees as it offered an interactive experience with the crowd, especially with the children.

“[They wish] the crowd good fortune in a really fun interactive way,” Goodman said. “Our lions go out into the crowd, interact with them and do routines. We have a drunken lion that chugs a vase. Just very, very fun to watch.”

Entry was free, so families came and went as they pleased.

Mazreen Sanjana said a feeling of community, togetherness and family attracted many attendees. She came with her mother and sister.

“Community is really important, especially around Lunar New Year, where everyone’s celebrating a new beginning, fresh times,” Sanjana said. “I think that being around people and enjoying life together is really a celebration of what we have here.”