The Lunar New Year is a celebration of the Chinese zodiac, which moves in 12-year cycles. 2018 is the Year of the Dog, which signals certain fortunes for those born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018.
On Friday, February 16, families around the globe rang in the Lunar New Year with family gatherings, grand spectacles of light and sound and, everyone’s favorite part, the coveted red envelopes of money to signal good luck in the new year.
As the two-week celebration came to a close, on Thursday, March 1, some of the biggest Asian actors and filmmakers braved the winter cold to celebrate the Year of the Dog at the first annual Lunar New Year Soiree hosted by Lexus at Goya Studios in Hollywood.
“Chinese New Year, of course, is very important to a lot of Asian cultures so it’s an honor to be here tonight, celebrating with all the wonderful Asian American actors and artists here,” veteran Chinese-American and hostess Kelly Hu (“Arrow”, “The Orville”) shared with the Asian Journal on the red carpet. “Being here to help ring in the new year with other people who appreciate it who understand the importance and significance of it. It’s great we can all come together tonight.”
The Lunar New Year Soiree glamorously blended Chinese traditions with modern innovation. As soon as the program began, guests were welcomed with a dazzling dragon dance featuring a skilled team of dancers in brightly and colorfully lit dragon costumes.
Afterward, Japanese-American singer and actress Kina Grannis performed original songs while Asian-inspired hors d’oeuvres were being passed around.
Everyone from leading actors to musicians to filmmakers in Los Angeles’s Asian American community gathered in a celebration of Asians in the entertainment industry.
Among the guests were the all-Asian cast of the upcoming comedy film “Crazy Rich Asians” including Malaysian-British actor Henry Golding, Chris Pang and Jimmy O. Yang, who touted his new book, “How To American.”
Other high profile guests included Filipina-American singer Liane Valenzuela, Filipino-American actor Dante Basco, Chinese actor Tzi Ma (“Rush Hour”) and veteran Japanese-American actress Amy Hill (“50 First Dates”, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”).
“Isn’t it great that we have this community of Asian and Asian American actors out here tonight? How often do we get to gather together and celebrate our culture? It’s a very tight-knit supportive community of artists, and I feel so honored to be a part of it,” a bright-eyed Hill told the Asian Journal.
The soiree also featured the newly redesigned Lexus LS which features a “radical new design with a coupe-like silhouette, an all-new twin-turbo V6 with 416 horsepower and an interior inspired by traditional Japanese aesthetics,” according to a press release.