Entering the Chinese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; 314-577-9400 or www.mobot.org) removes you from this continent and from yourself; it's an enchanting world of circular doorways and stone bridges, still water and silent foliage. Match all of this against the metaphysical strength and twistiness of the New Shanghai Circus, and you may see the duality of existence. Fortunately, the Chinese Culture Days at the garden aren't all silent wonder and rapid-fire awe: Saturday and Sunday (May 17 and 18) are packed with dim sum, dance, music, tea and arts (both fine and martial). And a dragon. It measures 70 feet and leads a parade of martial artists and lion-dancers at 11 a.m. on Saturday. What's a lion-dancer? Go and find out. Admission costs $3 to $10, and the festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Sat., May 17; Sun., May 18, 2008