Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Asian Festival

Posted on Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 4:00 AM

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Critic's Pick Release Date: 2011-02-02

The Institute of Texan Cultures ushers in the Year of the Rabbit with its annual Asian Festival, a daylong celebration of the customs, crafts, and cuisines of China, Japan, Korea, Laos, Thailand, the Philippines, and beyond. While wandering the grounds of UTSA’s HemisFair Park Campus, guests can sample traditional fare, shop for gifts, and learn from a variety of live performances and demonstrations. Following the opening ceremony (10am), the elaborately costumed San Antonio Lion Dance Association takes the Time Warner Lotus Blossom Stage (10:30am), where dancing continues throughout the day, highlighting the styles and sounds of Hawaii (12:30pm), Burma (1pm), Iraq (1:30pm), Bhutan (2pm), and Pakistan (2:30pm). Creative young minds won’t want to miss the hands-on workshops, outlining the “how and why” of ancient customs such as origami and paper lantern making. For cooking tips, look to Chefs Michael Katz, Hinnerk von Bargen (Culinary Institute of America) and Patrick Costello (St. Philip’s College Culinary Department), who’ll be whipping things up in Lowe’s Asian Kitchen all day long. But Asian Festival’s true highlight has to be the Martial Arts Demo Area, where warriors large (Lone Star Sumo Wrestling: 12:30pm & 4:30pm) and small (the Little Praying Mantis Kung Fu Academy: noon & 2:30pm) will wow crowds with skillful feats of self-defense. Trivia: Tactful and kind, people born in the Year of the Rabbit are said to possess enviable talents — among them the ability to gossip and gamble without getting themselves into trouble. $5-$8, 10am-5pm, Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E Durango, (210) 458-2300,

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