Although to many of us in Western culture, the rat symbolizes all that is base and gross in nature, in Eastern culture, it’s just the opposite. In fact the lowly rodent represents material gain, leadership, and renewal. And to celebrate all of those brilliant rattributes, there are a number of Chinese New Year celebrations taking place around Miami.

The fanciest festivities are bound to be at the Mandarin Oriental tonight. The Year of the Golden Rat celebration will usher in the new year with lion and dragon dances, artistic demonstrations on the hotel’s exquisite white sand beach, and food, delicious food. Feast on char sui pork, spare ribs, roast duck, and Shanghai noodles from 7 to 10. Tickets cost $125 plus tax, and reservations are required. Call 305-913-8358. For the thrifty, there’s Saturday’s bash at the Acupuncture and Massage College (10506 N. Kendall Dr., Miami), which is free. There you can immerse yourself in newfound knowledge about tai chi, yoga, and Chinese herbs, or indulge with a free massage anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Call 305-595-9500. For a Chinese New Year edutainment of a more delicious kind, most definitely sign up for Eleanor Hoh’s Work Star cooking class. From noon to 3 p.m. at La Cuisine Gourmet (50 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables), Hoh will be demonstrating four traditional dishes that illustrate the variety of Chinese home-style stir-fry techniques. Her class costs $65 and is worth every penny. Call 305-865-9297, or visit www.eleanorhoh.com.
Thu., Feb. 7, 2008


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