FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- With so much going on this week -- Presidents Day, Fat Tuesday and the impending Oscars -- you may be remiss in knowing that Feb. 19 marks the start of the Chinese New Year.
Say goodbye to the Year of the Horse and hello to the Year of the Ram with the following Fairfield County events.
- Feb. 19, Westport: How can you resist a place with the motto: "Sip! Paint! Relax!" At Painting with a Twist in Westport, you'll get to try your hand doing a Chinese-inspired "Hope" painting. Remember to go early and BYOB. Happy New Year: 1460 Post Road E., 203-955-1855, www.paintingwithatwist.com/westport .
- Feb. 20, Bridgeport: Travel back to ancient China with a gala at the Arnold Bernhard Arts and Humanities Center at the University of Bridgeport, where you'll be treated to featured customs and elaborate performances. The event is from 7 to 9 p.m. Happy New Year:Tickets will be sold at the Library and Marina Dining Hall and are $5; 84 Iranistan Ave., or online .
- Feb. 22, Riverside: Riverside's Chinese Language of School of Connecticut is pulling out all the stops for its 13th Annual Chinese New Year Festival. The event, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., will be held at Eastern Middle School in Greenwich and includes a bevvy of activities such as student artwork, lion dances, a silent auction, entertainment and a full banquet buffet. Happy New Year: Tickets can be purchased in advance at Eastern Middle School, 51 Hendrie Ave., or by contacting CLSC at 866-301-4906 or www.ChineseLanguageSchool.org .
- March 5, Westport: Join the Staples High School National Chinese Honor Society from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Westport Library for a lantern-making workshop. You'll also learn about lantern traditions. Happy New Year: 20 Jesup Road, 203-291-4800, or online .