Downtown Asheville Buddhist temple celebrates lunar new year

    Photo: WLOS

    A new moon brings a new beginning, with East Asian cultures ushering-in the Year of the Pig.

    A lunar new year celebration was held Sunday at Urban Dharma, downtown Asheville's only downtown Buddhist temple.

    The western new year is measured by the solar cycle, and starts on January 1. But in China and other countries, the calendar is based on movements of the moon, with a festival that runs this year from February 5-19.

    Local organizers say it's a joyous time, with a lot to do.

    The year of the pig is derived from one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.

    It's celebrated by more than a billion people in China, and millions more around the world.

    Visitors at Urban Dharma had a chance to sample ethnic foods and make crafts with the volunteer staff.

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