Tickets are now on sale for the Cumberland Museum’s Annual Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday February 9th at 6 pm at the Cumberland Cultural Centre. Come and experience stories, a catered Lunar New Year Chinese dinner, drinks, lanterns, door prizes and games, an incredible silent auction and very special guest artists. 2013 Lunar New Year marks the Year of the Snake and a sold out event is expected!
The deafening bang of exploding firecrackers. Magnificent flowing silk dragons and streamers in the street. Lanterns and fires. Opulent feasts of auspicious-sounding dishes and sweets. Red envelopes stuffed with cash doled out to bowing children. These are the vibrant images of Lunar New Year
According to ancient legends, Lunar New Year started with a fight against a cruel and ferocious beast called the Nian who would come on the first day of New Year to devour livestock, crops and villagers. However, it was discovered that the Nian feared the color red, the light of fire, and loud noise so to protect themselves villagers pasted red-paper couplets on doors, lit torches and set off firecrackers throughout the night. Villagers would also put food offerings in front of their doors. Early the next morning, if the Village was successful in keeping Nian away for another year, triumph and renewal filled the air. The traditional greeting heard in the streets was ‘gong xi’, or “congratulations.”
China rings in the Lunar New Year in a big way. The festivities begin on the first new moon of the new year and last for 15 days. It’s a time for renewal, family gatherings, eating exotic foods and paying respect to your ancestors and elders. What you do during the period is crucial in determining how the rest of your year will go. Red is used in New Year celebrations as an emblem of joy and symbol of virtue, truth and sincerity.
Lunar New Year is celebrated across Asia, but each celebration takes on a diverse flavor. In Korea, the celebration part of a month-long vacation and matchmaking fest among the Hmong that features important family time, ancestor worship and lots of rich food. The Vietnamese ring in Tet Nguyen Dan with plenty of food, fun and positive actions. Celebrants avoid arguments and give generous gifts of ripe fruits, delicate rice cakes and red envelopes stuffed with cash. People also clean their homes from top to bottom, pay off old debts and buy or make a new set of clothes. It’s all about getting a fresh new start and kicking off a new beginning in a positive way.
Lunar New Year Traditions are also enjoyed in Taiwan, Japan, Tibet, Indonesia and in Asian communities across the world. But there’s one common theme that takes center stage for all Lunar New Year celebrations: family. New Year’s a time for family reunions, social gatherings, reflection and reaffirming bonds.
In honour of these rich traditions and in recognition of the significant Chinese community that once called Cumberland home, the Cumberland Museum and community partners present an annual celebration of Lunar New Year! Tickets are available at the Museum or online at www.cumberlandmuseum.ca. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for under 14 years of age. All ages are welcome.