Festival celebrates Phoenix Chinese Week 2013

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX  -- Celebrate Phoenix Chinese Week 2013 this weekend at a free, three-day Culture and Food Festival at the Chinese Cultural Center.

The festival celebrates The Year of The Snake. Festivities include martial arts demonstrations, folk and traditional dances, musical performances, and much more. All the activities and performances showcase the Chinese Heritage.

Adults and kids alike will find something to enjoy at the festival. Little ones can ride ponies,a ferris wheel, or a mini train. A dragon boat is on display for the kids to check out.  Face painting and caricature drawing are also available.

There's plenty of shopping to be had as well, from wind chimes, tea sets, jewelry and clothing, to bamboo plants and bonsai trees. You can even buy koi for your koi pond at home.

And it wouldn't be a festival without great food. Several vendors are on-site, offering items ranging from traditional noodles and Chinese food, to American favorites like corn dogs and funnel cakes.

Chinese Week 2013 also offers a unique opportunity to showcase our city's relationship with sister cities. Over the years, Phoenix has conducted cross-cultural exchanges with Taipei, Taiwan, and Chengdu, China.

This weekend's festival also celebrates the Chinese New Year. In 2013, we celebrate the Year of the Snake.

The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days. In order to "catch up" with the solar calendar the Chinese insert an extra month once every few years (seven years out of a 19-year cycle). This is the same as adding an extra day on leap year. This is why, according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year.

The Chinese Cultural Center is located at 668 North 44th Street in Phoenix.