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Japanese American museum hosts Year of the Horse festival

Japanese American museum hosts Year of the Horse festival
It's festival time at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles. (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)

In celebration of the Year of the Horse, the Japanese American National Museum is hosting a festival Sunday that includes pony rides, candy sculpting and food, like buckwheat noodles eaten for good luck.

The Oshogatsu Family Festival, celebrating the New Year, is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, at the downtown museum at 100 N. Central Avenue. The event will feature origami (the art of paper-folding), an onigiri (rice balls) making contest, and the raffling every hour from noon to the close of the festival of horse candy sculptures by artist Shan Ichiyanagi. The events are free to the public.

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"This is our family festival, which we provide for the public to celebrate the new year, taking Japanese traditions and also integrating some Japanese-American traditions as well," said Helen Ota, external affairs officer for the museum.

The event will also feature Japanese music and dance, as well as Zen archery performances, Ota said.

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