St. David’s luncheon to celebrate Lunar New Year

Members of St. David’s Anglican Church in Tsawwassen will host a Lunar New Year Luncheon this Sunday to mark one of the world’s most celebrated holidays.

Gong hei fat choy (Happy New Year in Cantonese) or gong xi fa cai (Prosperous New Year in Mandarin Chinese) may be heard in the parish hall but it is the visual impact of China’s traditional bright-red holiday decorations that will capture the imagination. It is a colour much loved by the Chinese in general as it signifies happiness and good fortune.

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Sara Caintar, Claudia Niu and Jenifer Zhu are convening the luncheon to welcome parishioners and the surrounding community to a microcosm version of an event that is likewise known as the spring festival.

The (chunjie) spring festival has more than 4,000 years of history and is the longest holiday of the year. Although still very wintery, it marks the end of the coldest days and welcomes spring: the planting and harvests, new beginnings and fresh starts.

No Chinese celebratory buffet table would be complete without Xiaocong Wu’s steaming-hot Jiaozi dumplings (crescent-shaped dough filled with minced meat and finely chopped vegetables), and a variety of appetizers, salads and bean soups prepared by a team of kitchen volunteers.

For those wishing to gain new skills, Niu will offer hands-on instruction in calligraphy – one of the most important ancient Chinese art forms – along with direction in folk art paper-cutting and crafted lanterns.

This year’s Lunar New Year celebration of the pig begins Feb. 5 and ends Feb. 20. The Solar New Year begins Feb. 4 and ends Feb. 21. One is linked to phases of the moon (lunar) and the other is based on the earth’s movement around the sun (solar).

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