Celebrate the year of the water dragon

The Immigrant Welcome Centre is celebrating Lunar New Year on Tuesday at the Robron Centre. - Submitted
The Immigrant Welcome Centre is celebrating Lunar New Year on Tuesday at the Robron Centre.
— image credit: Submitted

The Immigrant Welcome Centre has been a busy hub for cultural activities as preparations begin for the 2012 Lunar New Year celebration.

As the lunar calendar is based on the phases of the moon, the date for the start of a new year differs to the Western (Gregorian) calendar.

This year Lunar New Year is observed in Canada and around the world for a period of 15 days beginning on January 23.  This is the first day after the new moon for the year 4710 (Year of the Dragon) in the Chinese calendar.  Traditionally a festival to mark the onset of spring, the Vietnamese refer to New Year as Tet.  Cultural traditions include cleaning the entire house, getting a haircut, settling debts, and getting together with family.

On January 24, the second day of the New Year’s festival, a special event will take place at Robron Centre in Campbell River. Brother Sakya Phap An, a Buddhist monk, will help honour this special time of year with an afternoon of prayer. Listening to the beautiful meditative chanting is relaxing and mesmerizing. Brother Phap An will also be sharing information about Buddhism.

At 5 p.m. there will be a potluck feast, highlighting vegetarian dishes.

The Celebration for Lunar New Year is open to the general public.

The aim of the event is to strengthen cultural identity, while helping others understand and appreciate Buddhist customs and traditions.

Please bring a potluck dish to share at the feast, or a small donation. This is a free, family friendly event.

The year 2012 also marks twenty years since the Immigrant Welcome Centre began providing service to the community of Campbell River.

This year’s Lunar New Year Celebration is presented jointly  by Youth4Diversity Interfaith Project and the Immigrant Welcome Centre’s multicultural groups.

Festivities will be held at Robron Centre (740 Robron Road) on Tues., Jan. 24 from 2 -8 p.m.

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