Moose Jaw’s Chinese community will be marking the Year of the Dragon starting this weekend for Chinese New Year.
The Chinese New Year follows the lunar calendar and rotates through the 12 Chinese Zodiac signs including the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
Traditionally, the Chinese New Year isn’t a single day but a period of celebration. Family will begin cleaning their house and preparing food weeks in advance and the celebration doesn't finish until 15 days after the New Year with the Lantern Festival.
“Chinese people tend to prepare delicious food for themselves and their guests to enjoy. Another important tradition is to show respect to their elders and also their care for their children. So, handing out red envelopes to their children so the younger generation is a very important part,” said Kelvin Hu, president of the Moose Jaw Chinese Community Network.
Hu added that the Year of the Dragon is very significant to the Chinese people.
“Throughout Chinese history, all the Chinese emperors claimed to be the real dragons. So, dragons have been the symbol of power, strength, authority and energy and the Chinese people themselves claim to be descendants of the dragon,” said Hu.
The Moose Jaw Chinese Community Network is hosting a Chinese New Year banquet on Monday at Jade Garden. However, tickets are no longer on sale.
The celebrations wrap up on Saturday, Feb. 24 with the Chinese Lantern Festival Gala at the Grant Hall with cocktails at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 with entertainment to follow.
Tickets are $80 and are available through www.sasktix.ca.