Chinese Cultural event planned for Tumbler Ridge

What? New Year?s isn?t over? Actually it hasn?t begun yet for the Asian community. It will be celebrated in good form at the TR Public Library on Sunday, February 20th. This one day cultural event will follow the February 10th Itchy Feet presentation on China, by Michael Hunter who was in China in August and September of last year.

Dating back centuries before the current Julian calendar we currently use was the Chinese calendar. Highly accurate, it measures time, based on the astronomical observations of the movement of the Sun, Moon and stars.

February 9, 2005 is the first day of the Chinese New Year. Typically, the 10ththrough the 12th are days reserved for family and friends, who are invited to dinner. After these days of very rich food, a cleansing of the system is usual by way of a simple meal on 13th day of rice congee and mustard greens (choi sum) to cleanse the system. The traditions are bright and exciting and will be as accurately portrayed as can be in Tumbler Ridge this year.

Many people are aware that each year represents an animal or symbol of great cultural importance. Interestingly, here are three variants of naming the Chinese year: 1) Named after an animal (like a mascot). 2005 is Year of the Rooster. There are 12 animal names; so by this system, year names are re-cycled every 12 years.

2) By its former name. The New Year is the year of Yiyou. By this system, the Name of the Year is repeated and re-cycled every 60 years.

3) It is Year 4702 by the Chinese calendar.

The celebrations and traditions of the Chinese New Year are numerous. They are rich in flowers and plants which the Chinese firmly believe results in fruit. This is another strong tradition, along with some superstitions, by Western standards. Poetic couplets grace the walls and doors of Chinese households. Printed on red paper, reading such positive sentiments as ?May you enjoy good health? as well as. ?May the Star of Happiness, Star of Wealth and Star of Longevity shine on you.?

Oranges and tangerines are exchanged when visiting each other?s homes during the two-week celebration and it is in poor taste not to, as dictated by Chinese etiquette. The celebration of Chinese New Year is plentiful and difficult to capture in a single article. Many resources are available to further interest in the details of this Chinese custom and its traditions.

In the event that the Library is hosting, there will be an exhibit in the Community Centre Art Gallery and around the fireside lounge. A call of interest is extended to the public to register authentic Chinese items and artifacts to be displayed for the day. Interested participants may call Michele at 242-4778 or 242-0027. As well, you may speak with Chris Raque at 242-3351.

In the Library there will be an impressive buffet of foods, commonly known as Dim Sum. The menu promises to be mouth-watering.

Also, within the Library will be a slideshow as well as question and answer booths, manned by people who have experienced China first-hand. There seems to be an increased interest in China of late and the possibilities of business dealings with this country have also caused broader appeal. The blossoming relationship between TR and China is hopefully on the horizon.

Details and exact time of day will be confirmed closer to the date of the event, please watch for those at the Library and in keeping with the authenticity of the celebrations in two dialects; ?Gung hai fat choi? (May you become prosperous) and ?Sun nien fai lok? (Happy New Year) in Cantonese. In Mandarin, ?Xin nian yu kuai? to one and all.