Campbell River welcomes the Year of the Horse

Danny Ngo, co-organizer and MC for Lunar New Year 2013. - Photo submitted
Danny Ngo, co-organizer and MC for Lunar New Year 2013.
— image credit: Photo submitted

For those who follow the Lunar calendar, 2014 moves us out of year of the Snake and into year of the Horse, which repeats every 12 years in the Chinese Zodiac.

The Immigrant Welcome Centre is hosting a large Lunar New Year Celebration Fundraiser and Potluck on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Community Centre to recognize this meaningful date. The evening will include potluck dinner with cash bar, live cultural entertainment, silent and live auctions and raffles. All guests must be of legal drinking age to attend. Tickets are a donation of $15 or more and are available at the newly opened Snow Pea Tea House on Historical Pier Street or the Immigrant Welcome Centre, located in Robron Centre. Tickets will be available at the door if available.  All funds from the evening being donated to local groups, hosted by the Immigrant Welcome Centre and a portion to help an orphanage in Vietnam.

Last year’s celebration was attended by 250 people from different backgrounds and cultures. According to Dan Ngo, a member of the Vietnamese community in Campbell River, the event is so popular with our Asian community because “Many people don’t celebrate Christmas, so Lunar New Year is really the only celebration that we have.”

The celebration is meant for renewing vows and strengthening spiritual connection, but for some it is also an opportunity to connect with the community.

“This event helps my family integrate themselves in the community. Growing up here, my family didn’t really partake in community events, probably because they were a minority and had a language barrier. They were not able to be a part of many things the community has to offer. My mom always said she wanted to be a part of the community but never really got to, and I didn’t understand until I got older and realized that all these differences that set us apart really shouldn’t set us apart,” said Zhung Nguyen, a participant of the event.

Lunar New Year is largely celebrated by China and Vietnam, both cultures that have a growing presence in the community.

Were you born in a year of the Horse? It is said that those who are born during the year of the Horse share certain characteristics such as being clever and kind. Although they sometimes talk too much, they are cheerful and perceptive. Years of the Horse include 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 & 2014. Tibetan Monk, Geshe Yong Dong, from Courtenay said, “The Lunar New Year is everybody’s birthday, it’s a big celebration, there is no individual birthday parties other than Lunar New Year, today you are one year older.”

To learn more about Lunar New Year or buy your tickets, visit www.ImmigrantWelcome.ca/Events, or call 250-830-0171.

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