SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Lunar New Year celebrations drew Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) businesses gathered to support and uplift one another in the face of deadly shootings in Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park.
For Kimberly Lim, a Sacramento native and founder of sustainable fine-fragrance company, Sun Kissed & Co., Lunar New Year holds a special place in her heart.
"We took off basically the whole weekend and had a big feast because Lunar New Year really correlates to food, family celebration," said Lim.
It's also special for Nami Thompson, owner of Tea Cozy. Her Lunar New Year always involves "an inaugural cup of tea" for her traditions.
However in addition to celebrating Lunar New Year, Thompson is also celebrating 25 years in business in Sacramento. She and dozens of other locally-owned AAPI businesses and their supporters honored each other's successes at Tuesday night's event hosted by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
"We want to bring a focus and highlight to our AAPI business community and the community at large, and this is a way to gather the community and celebrate and network and find ways to make the new year prosperous," said Frank Louie, chief operating officer for the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
The Lunar New Year, or spring festival, is celebrated by many different people of Asian heritage. It marks the transition of the Chinese zodiac sign from one animal to the next.
2023 is the Year of the Rabbit. In Chinese culture, the rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace and prosperity.
"Go to your AAPI businesses, retailers, embrace that community, learn more about what they offer in your community," said Louie.
The small business owners say they are trying to stay strong and not let the recent shooting in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay paralyze them with fear.
They are leaning on each other and their supports more than ever and continue to hope for peace and prosperity this year.