“Traditions are like a tapestry, woven with threads of memories, customs, and beliefs that make us who we are,” explains Yumin Gao, co-founder of F2 Entertainment. Organized with the Waterfront Partnership, Baltimore’s Lunar Night Cultural Festival took place January 21 and 22, as a free weekend-long cultural event designed to embrace the richness of Asian culture and traditions through food and art in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and Lake Shore Park.
“Celebrating Lunar New Year, the event is a symphony of sights, sounds, and smells,” says Gao. “The bustling energy of the crowd, the vibrant colors of the stalls, the sizzling of street food on the grill, the chatter of vendors and patrons, all blend together to create a lively and immersive experience.”
This year, the Baltimore festival featured traditional performances such as dragon dances, sugar painting, Bian Lian, and lantern gardens, providing a window into the soul of the AAPI community and showcasing the diversity and richness of Asian culture. It’s a place where the past meets the present, where age-old traditions are celebrated and new innovations are embraced. Visitors could indulge in delicious street food, shop for unique handicrafts, enjoy lunar performances, all while feeling the warmth and camaraderie of the community.
After the recent mass shootings, in conjunction with Lunar New Year Celebrations in California, Gao and the Baltimore Lunar Festival team shared the following statement, to show their concern and solidarity. “The Lunar Night Cultural Festival team is deeply saddened by the recent shootings in Monterey Park, California and our thoughts are with those affected by this tragic event. Hate and violence against any group of people is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Our mission remains–to celebrate Asian traditions and unite communities, and to work towards creating a more inclusive and accepting society for all people.”