As we say good-bye to the year of the snake, 2014 brings in the year of the horse, and according to the lunar calendar, this year will be filled with luck and good fortune.

Kicking off the celebration with a traditional dragon dance, about 600 Southern California Edison (SCE) employees recently gathered to welcome the year of the horse at an event sponsored by the employee resource group Edison Chinese Connection.

“We learn from different cultures,” said SCE President Ron Litzinger, who led the dragon dance as it wound through the tables at the Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant in Monterey Park. He noted the importance of so many employees celebrating the Chinese New Year together and sharing cultures because it helps everyone make better decisions about diversity.

For the past ten years, the Edison Chinese Connection has held the event and begins planning for it about five months in advance.

“The event is a celebration of lunar New Year, and it gives us an opportunity to share the celebration and our culture with other employees,” said Wing Hon, president of the group.

Other East and Central Asian cultures celebrate a lunar new year based on the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar, including Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Tibetan and Vietnamese.

In addition to the traditional dragon dance, other performances included a Korean Long Drum Dance and “Bian Lian” (“Face Changing”), a Chinese dramatic dance performed as part of the Sichuan opera.

Stu Hemphill, SCE senior vice president of Power Supply, has been the executive sponsor for Edison Chinese Connection for the past three years.

“The event is a way to celebrate and acknowledge the lunar New Year and a great opportunity to connect with employees,” Hemphill said. “This is the biggest employee resource group event, and I’m honored to be included.”