After putting in-person celebrations on hold for the past two years, the Moose Jaw Chinese Community Network will host a Chinese New Year celebration on Jan. 23.
The Chinese New Year follows the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar and is associated with an animal from the Chinese zodiac cycle each year. The Chinese New Year lands on Jan. 22, but the celebration will take place on Jan. 23 at Jade Garden Restaurant at 6 p.m.
The Chinese zodiac is represented by 12 animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. In 2023, the Chinese community will be celebrating the Year of the Rabbit.
Kelvin Hu, president of the Moose Jaw Chinese Community Network, explained what the Year of the Rabbit symbolizes.
“The rabbit generally represents kindness and gentleness in nature and nothing really drastic. That's my understanding of the Year of the Rabbit,” he said.
Traditionally, the Chinese New Year is a time for a large feast and visiting with friends and family.
Hu explained what they have planned for this Chinese New Year.
“We are going to have a sit-down meal with about eight or nine dishes and then desserts. We don't have an elaborate program for this year, but we are hoping that we are going to get some gifts and presents donated by the local business community for prize draws,” he said.
He added that they are hoping to continue the tradition of exchanging red envelopes of money. The money is put into a red envelope as the colour red symbolizes good luck. The tradition is that children and grandchildren give their best wishes to their parents and grandparents. In return, the parents and grandparents give the children the red envelopes to wish them luck in the new year.
Tickets for the celebration are $40 each and can be purchased at Jade Garden or Delight Café. Tickets are available now until Jan. 16.
Hu added that for the first time ever, they will be hosting a Lantern Festival celebration at the Grant Hall on Feb. 4. The Lantern Festival is usually held 15 days after the Chinese New Year to mark the end of the new year celebrations.
He said the entire community is welcome to take part in the celebrations. Anyone looking for more information can email the Moose Jaw Chinese Community Network at email@example.com.