February Senior Breakfast Celebrates the Year of the Dragon

The Fushicho Daiko Taiko drum group performed inside of the Talking Stick Resort Ballroom as the Seniors enjoyed their meals.

The Chinese zodiac features a 12-year cycle represented by 12 different animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. During the Lunar New Year, celebrations can last up to 16 days. This year, the Chinese New Year holiday began on February 10 and ended on the 17th. 

To celebrate Chinese New Year and usher in the Year of the Dragon, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Senior Services Department hosted the monthly Senior Breakfast at the Talking Stick Resort Ballroom on February 7. Community seniors were provided a delicious breakfast accompanied by fresh coffee and beverages. Jessica Martinez from Senior Services served as the emcee. 

The three-person Fushicho Daiko Taiko drum group performed first for the seniors, receiving a rousing round of applause after their lively performances. 

Taiko is the Japanese word for “great drum.” In the past, taiko was used to signal distant villages, such as to warn of the approach of an enemy or an impending disaster. The drums also helped signal troops on the battlefield. Currently featured in shrines and temples throughout present-day Japan, taiko can still be heard, although today its purpose is more spiritual and celebratory. 

Following the Fushicho Daiko Taiko drum group, Kenny Perez from the Dynamic Martial Arts Academy performed a lion dance. Perez trained under Master/Coach Wu Bin alongside talented classmates Jet Li and Donnie Yen, eventually working with them on movie projects. With his assistant by his side, Perez performed wearing a samurai mask while twirling around a massive sword as traditional Asian music played throughout the ballroom.  

The celebration came to an end as Perez and his assistant donned a two-person red dragon costume and danced a lap around the ballroom, visiting nearly every table along the way to help spread good luck and positivity. Perez then released confetti via a small firecracker to celebrate the seniors and to wish them and their loved ones a happy Year of the Dragon. 

Video by OAN News Reporter Juan Ysaguirre

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