On Wednesday February 6, Journey To The Dumpling and Chason’s Crab Stadium rang in the Year of the Pig with a dragon dance, a lion dance, martial arts, and firecrackers. These delightful displays were meant to celebrate the arrival of Lunar New Year. In some cultures, such as Chinese culture and Vietnamese culture, Lunar New Year or Tet (Vietnamese term for Lunar New Year) is an even bigger holiday than Christmas.
Journey To The Dumpling Show
Video Credit: J Nguyen of MVO Studios
The festivities started at Journey to the Dumpling at 3:30 PM. The dragon dances were performed by Lun Yee Tong Dragon Lion Group of Sacramento. They began by beating a drum and spectators were treated a dragon dance. Important to note, a long yellow dragon on sticks was the focal point. Each dancer held a stick attached to the dragon. They group moved around dancing. Each move was very precise. After the dragon dance, some members of the group displayed their martial arts skills.
Arguably the most exciting part of the show was the lion dance. Several red lions performed a dance. Each lion was manned by two individuals who made up the front or rear end of the beast. To the delight of spectators, the lions actually danced their way right through the entrance of Journey to the Dumpling and into the restaurant. After this, a very loud display of Chinese style firecrackers was set off. It was so powerful that anybody who was close to the firecrackers had to jump back a few feet! Fortunately, nobody was injured and everyone seemed to be having a good time.
Mayor Steve Ly showed up and took some time to speak to the owners Justin Yang, Yvonne Nguyen, and Chris Tan. He also took the time to order some food for his family at the restaurant. If anybody is curious, he ordered Xiao Long Bao, Potstickers, Wontons In Chili Oil, Garlic Noodles, and the Beef Roll.
Chason’s Crab Stadium Show
Afterwards, the Lun Yee Tong Dragon Lion Group as well as Mayor Steve Ly traveled over to Chason’s Crab Stadium to do another show. Consequently, the reason that Journey to the Dumpling and Chason’s Crab Stadium utilize the same dancers for Lunar New Year is because the owners are all friends. Yvonne Nguyen, Chris Tan, and Justin Yang of Journey to the Dumpling previously worked at Chason’s which Tan co-owned before starting Journey to the Dumpling.
Mayor Ly also took the time to graciously speak with the owners Peter Phong and Ronnie Lim, their families, and the staff. The festivities began at Chason’s at approximately 6:30PM. Mayor Ly and owner Peter Phong set off the loud display of Chinese firecrackers first. Then the same group performed a dragon dance, the display of martial arts, and a lion dance. This lion dance also went right through the entrance and into the Chason’s Crab Stadium. It was awesome!
The dragon dance is a traditional Chinese dance most often performed during Lunar New Year and during special occasions. The dance is performed by a team of experienced dancers. The dancers who move a long flexible figure of a dragon using poles positioned at regular intervals along the length of the dragon. Chinese dragons are believed to bring good luck. The longer the dragon in the dance, supposedly the more good luck it will bring. Qualities of dragons include great power, dignity, fertility, and wisdom. The dragon was also an emblem to represent imperial authority in imperial China.
The lion dance is also a traditional Chinese dance and it is also performed most often during Lunar New Year and special occasions. The lion dance is meant to bring good luck and good fortune. The lion dance is often mistaken for the dragon dance. The lion for each lion dance is usually operated by two people who make up the head and the tail of the beast. The Chinese lion dance has two forms, the Northern Lion, and the Southern Lion.
Firecrackers were invented in China around the 9th century during the Tang Dynasty. Gunpowder was also invented by the Chinese. People found that if you inserted gunpowder into a hollow bamboo stick and threw it in the fire, it would create a loud blast. This is how the first firecrackers came to be. Originally, the purpose of lighting them was to scare away spirits. Today, lighting firecrackers along with fireworks are a major custom to celebrate the Lunar New Year, and also a way to enhance the festive atmosphere of any special occasion. They are also typically lit at the Mid Autumn Moon Festival.
Journey to the Dumpling
Journey to the Dumpling is owned by Chris Tan, Yvonne Nguyen, and Justin Yang and opened in October of 2016. Chris Tan is the restaurant manager. Yvonne runs the front of the house. Justin is Executive Chef. Originally from Guangzhou, Justin learned to craft xiao long bao from his mentor, a Master Chef from Shanghai. Their signature dishes include Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings), Wontons in Chili Oil, Potstickers, Garlic Noodles, Chow Mein, Chow Fun, and Beef Roll. They also make their own egg noodles daily in their kitchen. You can’t really go wrong with any of their dumplings or any of their noodle dishes. I personally also like the Egg Tarts, which I like to get Macao style, slightly burnt on top.
Owner Yvonne Nguyen was very happy with the turnout and graciously wanted to make sure to thank everyone. “Journey to the Dumpling would like wish the city of Elk Grove a prosperous year full of joy, good eats, and happiness! Thank you for your continuous support.”
Chason’s Crab Stadium
Chason’s Crab Stadium is owned by Peter Phong and Ronnie Lim. It first opened in July of 2014. It’s a family business as Ronnie is married to Peter’s sister Anne Phong. Chason’s is known for their seafood and they also have a great happy hour. Their signature dishes include Garlic Noodles with prawns, Seafood Pasta, Gumbo, and shrimp, clams, mussels, snowcrab, king crab, clusters, lobster tail by the pound. Actually, the night of the Lunar New Year celebration I had their Manila Clams sauteed in garlic butter sauce and their Raw Oysters with champagne mignonette sauce and they were both phenomenal! I also enjoyed their Salt n Pepper Chicken Wings and their Buffalo Wings.
Owner Peter Phong was happy to celebrate Lunar New Year with family, friends, and customers. “My family and I, and the staff of Chason’s would like to wish everyone a Happy Year of the Pig! Thank you so much for all of your support. We love being a part of this community and we wouldn’t be here without you guys.”