Every year since 1977, the Mandarin House of La Jolla, has had some type of Chinese New Years party to ring in the Lunar New Year. The party was always after work and ran until midnight or later. I remember being just a little kid and my mom would always give us fresh haircuts, and a new outfit to wear to the party. We would greet all the “Uncles” and “Aunties” with the traditional greeting “Gong Hei Fat Choi” (Happy New Years) and they would hand out little red envelopes with money inside. We would make our rounds, sweet as can be, and make sure to hit up everybody. As kids, it was our one day a year to cash in. I think it was during those nights, like most other little Chinese boys and girls where I learned to count money. But I digress… Chinese New Years is about much more than just receiving money!
My favorite part was always the Lion Dance. The first one I ever saw was here at the Mandarin House! The Lion Dance is traditionally done to chase off evil spirits and bring in good luck and prosperity instead. I liked it because there was loud drums, cymbals clanging and the way they Lions moved was just so cool! In addition, we always had tons of good food. Us kids ran around wild, while the adults drank and played domino’s in the back- screaming and yelling at each other, it was always quite the sight. We always had a raffle too, where people could win money. Definitely a highlight for the winners!
But the best part of Chinese New Years was always seeing the friends and family. The party was a constant. Everyone knew when it was coming, and always made sure to go. The Mandarin House Chinese New Years party was a tradition for many Chinese families here in San Diego for over 40 years.
But alas, in 2016 – We lost the last remaining founder of the Mandarin House, John Law. John was able to attend the Chinese New Years party that year, but passed away just a few short weeks later. Seeing John at that party and knowing it would probably be his last party at the Mandarin House, there was a bit of a somber vibe in the air. It felt as if that year we weren’t celebrating the New Year, but more like celebrating the life of a man and honoring a tradition that he was able to bring to so many families for so many years. And so we hope to keep that tradition alive.
2017 was the first year we were going to celebrate the New Year without at least one of the original founders of the Mandarin House. So, we decided to throw a party in their honor. With all the founders of the Mandarin House having lost their battles to Cancer, it was only appropriate that we celebrated the New Year and donated the proceeds to cancer research. We have chosen The Cancer Research Institute, to help find a future cure, and Scripps Cancer Center to help those currently in need. We have donated over $10,000 from the first two fundraisers and are looking to build on that momentum this year.
Thanks to our many local sponsors, who contribute towards donating raffle prizes or sponsoring casino tables, we are able to donate 100% of all proceeds to these amazing organizations.
So in the spirit of the Mandarin House, and with our hearts of love in remembering John Law, Bill Man, and Jerry Chang, we continue our little tradition, on our little corner of this beautiful little part of town that we call home.
So join us for our “traditional” Chinese new years party, but with a Twist!
-We’ll have a Casino night, a Lion Dance Performance, Food and Drinks, Great Raffle Prizes and Music from some great DJ’s all night long.
-$20 gets you in the door and includes light food and 1 drink and some casino money to get you started.
-Party starts at 8pm, Lion Dance goes on at 9:30, and Raffle is at 11:30pm.
The Bar will be open until we shut it down! and remember, We’ll donate 100% of the money we bring in. So bring your friends, and family and join us in our tradition here at the Mandarin House!!
-Much love and Many thanks!
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