The 'Year Of The Pig' Brings Good Fortune, Sparking Lunar New Year Celebrations Across Pittsburgh

Celebrations with dumplings—symbols of good fortune and connection—and lucky red envelopes begin in earnest today to mark the Lunar New Year, followed by 15 days of banquets, ceremonies and performances in honor of 2019's "Year of the Golden Earth Pig."

Marian Lien, president of the Organization of Chinese Americans, says the pig represents hard work and wealth in the traditional Chinese zodiac. Lien says the celebration, though longer than many Western holidays, is a typical combination of togetherness and tradition. 

The OCA will host its 4th annual Lunar New Year parade in Squirrel Hill on Sunday, Feb. 17. 

Andy Warhol appeared during a Super Bowl commercial break to eat a Burger King sandwich for the duration of the advertisement.
Credit Burger King

Later in the program:

PublicSource reporter Brittany Hailer explains recent shakeups to the leadership team at the PERSAD Center in Lawrenceville. For 47 years, the group has offered services to the LGBTQ community and those impacted by HIV and AIDS.

Playwright Mark Clayton Southers, a friend and student of the late August Wilson, is working on his own version of Wilson’s cycle of 10 plays chronicling African American life in each decade of the 20th century. Southers’ plays do the same for each decade of the 19th century. 90.5 WESA’s Bill O’Driscoll reports on the second installment in Southers’ cycle, “Savior Samuel.” The play follows an ensemble of black characters in the 1870s scraping out a living on the Midwestern frontier. “Savoir Samuel” begins its run this Friday at the Trust Arts Education Center.

After Uber launched its self-driving cars in Pittsburgh in September 2016, Bike Pittsburgh created a survey to figure out how people who walk or bike to work feel about sharing the roads with autonomous vehicles. Results are now in on its second version, which included questions about the death of Elaine Herzberg, who died in Tempe, Ariz., after being hit by a self-driving Uber. Eric Boerer, advocacy directory at Bike Pittsburgh, and Erin Potts, director of marketing and community outreach with Healthy Ride, discuss the findings and evolving bike infrastructure and safety in Pittsburgh.

And one Super Bowl ad this year had a decidedly Pittsburgh twist. During a break in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh native and pop art icon Andy Warhol sat down to eat a Burger King Whopper with Heinz ketchup. The $5 million ad ends with a hashtag for the campaign: #EatLikeAndy. The clip is part of a longer scene from a 1982 Danish documentary 66 Scenes from AmericaWarhol Museum Curator Jessica Beck says she think Warhol, himself a former ad man, would be delighted by the over-the-top use of his image. Beck says the museum didn't know about the ad before it aired, but has gotten lots of positive feedback from patrons and fans via social media.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.