Biwa Rama

Because Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1873, the Japanese New Year is celebrated on January 1, which, of course, happened a while ago. But if you were too busy sipping Champagne and watching the ball drop to think about celebrating the end of 2008 with Japanese traditions, this is your chance to remedy that. The Japan-America Society of Dallas-Fort Worth is hosting a Mochitsuki celebration honoring the New Year from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. (Mochitsuki refers to the act of making mochi, or rice cakes, which is a time-honored tradition when celebrating the Japanese New Year.) The party will also feature live performances by Dallas Kiyari Daiko, a group that does traditional Japanese drumming; a children's choir called the Cherry Blossom Chorus; and Daniel Fletcher on the biwa, or Japanese lute. There will also be plenty of New Year's games for kids, as well as demonstrations of origami, calligraphy and ikebana (flower arranging). The celebration goes down in the cafeteria at Fujitsu Network Communications, 2801 Telecom Parkway in Richardson, and admission is $5 for adults and totally free for kids under the age of 12. (They only take cash at the door, so leave the Visa at home.) For more information, visit jasdfw.org.
Sun., Jan. 18, 2-5 p.m., 2009
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