Artistic, peaceful and elegant.
These are three of the qualities Tri-Cities residents possess if they were born in the Year of the Rabbit on the Chinese Zodiac calendar, which, lucky enough, has crossed over for Lunar New Year 2023.
They'll also be shown through skills of dance, music and crafting during a free event set for this weekend in Port Moody, marking a highly anticipated return for the community after a three-year hiatus.
The Multicultural Lunar New Year Celebration on Sunday (Jan. 15) hopes to provide opportunities for local families to learn about the calendar change, as well as the region's diversity, and is being organized by three Asian–Canadian organizations.
Port Moody–Coquitlam MLA Rick Glumac and Coquitlam–Burke Mountain MLA Fin Donnelly are also collaborating with those involved to make the show possible.
"Lunar New Year is a significant celebration in Canada and around the world," said Glumac in a release sent to the Tri-City News.
"It is a time to celebrate our province's rich cultural diversity and to honour the many contributions made by Asian Canadians."
The groups behind the Lunar New Year activities include the Tri-City Chinese Community Society, the Golden Maple Culture and Arts Association and Wayne Gao of Ping-Point Media.
Donnelly said he's looking forward to seeing an event of this magnitude for the Tri-Cities as the 2022 in-person event was cancelled due to then restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Lunar New Year is a time to come together to celebrate new beginnings and to resolve to work together to build a better province."
An opening ceremony for the afternoon celebration at the Inlet Theatre (100 Newport Dr.) is scheduled for 1 p.m. that'll feature colourful dancers, singers and musicians of all ages and backgrounds.
However, doors will open at 12 p.m. for interested patrons to try their hand at traditional paper-cutting and calligraphy, and meet and mingle with organization representatives.
Elsewhere, Coquitlam is set to host a inter-generational crafting session in recognizing Lunar New Year.
The Poirier Community Centre is inviting grandparents and their grandchildren to create paper lanterns on Jan. 23 — a day after the new year officially passes — from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Staff are set to provide instructions and supplies.
In case you didn't know....
While Lunar New Year and Chinese New Year usually mean the same thing, there are differences depending on the origin.
Both use the colour red, and celebrations can involve fireworks, firecrackers, lion- or dragon-dance shows, honouring ancestors and religious worship.
But there are differences across Asian countries as the holiday can have different dates and names.
- The new year is often referred to as the Spring Festival and includes many Chinese cultural and religious elements.
- The celebration typically lasts for three days. The traditional hanbok dress is worn, while tteokguk (soup with slice rice cakes) and jeon (savoury pancake) are served.
- Also known as Tsagaan Sar (translated as white moon), New Year’s Day is the first day of the Mongolian lunisolar calendar and has shamanistic influences. The White Moon festival is marked for three days, and starts on the same day as Tibet’s Losar.
Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan
- Losar (translated as new year) is a Buddist fest that is celebrated on the first day of the lunisolar Tibetan calendar, for 15 days. On the first day, revellers drink changkol. The next day is called King’s Losar.
- Tết (short for Tết Nguyên Đán) is the most important holiday of the year and celebrated on the same day as Chinese New Year. They serve, among other dishes, dried young bamboo soup and sticky rice. Games, like the bird competition, are common during this time to test knowledge, strength and aestheticism.