Celebrate ‘Year of the Rat’ in Cleveland’s Asiatown

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For followers of the Chinese zodiac, the Year of the Rat arrives on February 7. To usher in the Year 4076, many area Chinese restaurants will be hosting traditional celebrations during the next week or two, including the Lion Dance, an acrobatic, highly ritualized call-down for good fortune, complete with firecrackers, lettuces, and costumed dancers. (Click the video above for a taste of last year's Asiatown Lion Dance) ... Among the Asiatown restaurants hosting performances, count Wu’s Shanghai (2142 Rockwell Ave., 216-781-9740), where the Lion Dance will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on February 6; Bo Loong (3922 St. Clair, 216-391-3113), with two Lion Dance performances, first at 6 p.m. on February 9, and again, at noon on February 10; and C & Y Restaurant (2222 St. Clair Ave., 216-566-1188) where the Lion Dance will be performed at 7 p.m. on both February 10 and Feruary 16. Reservation policies vary; contact the restaurant for details. Last year, we took in the fun at Wu’s, where we feasted on Chinese classics prepared by Taiwanese-trained chef, Scott Wu, and then cheered on the valiant lion as he danced his way around the restaurant, vanquishing evil spirits and showering us with prosperity and good will. Colorful, complex, and exotic, it made a memorable mid-winter’s diversion, as well as a great excuse to explore Asiatown, one of our city’s cultural gems. For more info on the Asiatown neighborhood -- its history, attractions, and a full list of restaurants, cafes, and bakeries – check out www.asiatowncleveland.com. – Elaine T. Cicora Read Elaine Cicora's restaurant reviews, food news, and comprehensive dining guide on the restaurant page at clevescene.com.

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