Gateway Gazette

Legislative Assembly Hosts First Lunar New Year Ceremony

Honourable Robert E. Wanner, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, will host the first Lunar New Year ceremony in the Alberta Legislature Building on Friday, February 23, 2018, at 5 p.m.

“The Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, is the most significant of all the traditional Chinese holidays,” said Speaker Wanner. “On behalf of all Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta I would like to greet Albertans of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and other east Asian heritages that are celebrating the occasion a Happy New Year. May the Year of the Dog be filled with prosperity and good tidings for you and all of your loved ones.”

The event will be held in the Legislature Rotunda and will include remarks by leaders and guests from the Chinese community. A traditional lion dance performance will also be featured.

The Lunar New Year, traditionally recognized as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is a major holiday not just in China but in many of its neighbouring countries. It is also celebrated in a significant way by the Chinese diaspora in major cities across the globe. The dates for Lunar New Year change according to the Chinese calendar, which is lunisolar and uses both the moon phase and the solar year. Festivities take about 15 days and conclude with Yuan Xiao, the Lantern Festival on the 15th day, when the moon is full.

Lunar New Year: Statement from Premier Notley

Premier Rachel Notley issued the following statement inviting all Albertans to celebrate Lunar New Year:

“I want to extend my warmest wishes to all Albertans and Canadians celebrating the start of the new year on the traditional lunar calendar.

“Men and women of Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean descent have deep roots in Alberta, forming an integral part of our collective history.

“The Lunar New Year is a time to celebrate Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean traditions and culture in all their vibrancy. For many, this celebration means reuniting with family for new year’s feasts, hanging bright red decorations and enjoying traditions like dragon dancing.

“As we celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Dog, let’s look to the dog’s best qualities—loyalty, generosity and a strong sense of justice—to guide our actions.

“From my family to yours, Gong Xi Fa Cai! May the new year bring you and your loved ones good health and prosperity.”

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