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Lunar New Year celebrations continue in the wake of mass shooting

Strelow family Lunar New Year
Posted at 6:42 PM, Jan 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-24 14:46:22-05

For many cultures, Lunar New Year began this weekend and we asked how people celebrated on the Central Coast.

Dawin Strelow lives in San Luis Obispo and is a member of the Central Coast Chinese Children's Play Group, which brings together families of Asian heritage.

Strelow said on the first day of the new year, her family relaxes.

“We don't do anything. We don't cook, we don't clean. We always do that the day before so that all good luck that comes that night stays with you. You don't sweep it out,” she explained.

Kurt Lo also lives in San Luis Obispo and says he typically celebrates with his church.

“Because we don't have a close family here in San Luis Obispo," he said. "Usually we try to get together as many people as possible. I remember that in the past that we could have a total of about 20-some people.”

Fani Gau is co-owner of the SLO Asian Market and says many items for Lunar New Year were sold out.

“For our students that are away from home, they come here and they say, 'Oh, my mom used to make this. Do you know how to make it?' If I know how to make it, I'll teach you how to make it. And if it's something that you want me to get for you, I will try my best and hardest to find it,” Gau said.

“Having my family of three kids, I want them to also have those traditions growing up and pass it on to their children as well,” Strelow said.

She said the attacks that happened on Saturday struck close to home.

“It happened in a neighboring city right where my brother and parents live. And, you know, it's a place that we drive by, so it's sad to think you're in a safe community and it could just happen,” she said.

However, she is excited to continue celebrating the New Year. The play group will host a Lunar New Year Celebration at Dinosaur Caves Park in Pismo Beach from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on February 5.

“We are going to have anyone who wants to come. You don't have to be Asian. We are going to have the Cal Poly Lion Dance Group there to help celebrate and bring your own lunch. And we're just going to play and chat together and meet new friends," she said.

The Cal Poly Lion Dance Team also has more performances scheduled.