Langley celebrates the Year of the Golden Rat

Chinese New Year fair open to all ages at Christian Life Assembly, Saturday, Jan. 25

Langley will once again ring in Chinese New Year with a celebration filled with activities and cultural demonstrations that promises to be even bigger than the last.

Live-in Langley Chinese Association is holding their 4th Chinese New Year gala, but in addition to the $10 ticketed event, a family-oriented fair will act as free precursor to the annual event.

Jane Zhang, a volunteer and media manager with the Chinese Association, said the gala has significantly grown since its inception.

“It was first held four years ago in the West Langley Hall. The society was made up of Chinese immigrants from the City and Township who gathered to come together and share something is common,” Zhang explained. “For them, it’s a way to share their culture and give back community with this event.”

The festival itself, often referred to as Spring Festival in China, is part of number of celebrations marking the lunar calender cycle.

”It’s celebrated, not only by the Chinese,” Zhang assured, “but also by Japan, the Philippines, Korea – it’s an East Asian event.”

With the lunar cycle shift also comes the twelve year cycle of the zodiac signs, signified by a different animal.

“2020 is the Year of the Golden Rat – golden because it actually starts the entire 12 year cycle over,” she noted, saying that the cycle significance will play into activities at the Langley celebrations.

Held at Langley Christian Life Assembly (21277 56 Ave) from 12 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, people of all ages are invited to come partake in the festivities and learn about the traditions.

Chinese painting, calligraphy, riddles, Chinese chess, crafts, games, dumpling making, lantern making, delicacy sampling, and tea drinking are all expected to make up the afternoon.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Cold start to Year of the Pig in Langley

“We’ve never organized a fair before to go before the gala, but everyone is welcome; it’s all been Langley residents in the past, so it will actually be quite a local event,” Zhang said.

The subsequent gala will feature live performances of dancing, jazz, magic, martial arts, and other talents in what Zhang described as a “talk show format.”

With the funds that have been raised in the past years, Zhang added that the association plans to make a $3,000 donation to the Langley Hospital Foundation.

More information about the society and the Chinese New Year celebrations, people can visit liveinlangley.org.

As for those born in 2020 – the Year of the Rat, Zhang said that’s suppose to mean they will have very smart and savvy personalities. The last ‘Golden Rat year,’ FYI, was back in 1960.

“Scientific or not, it’s a tradition,” Zhang assured, noting that older generation typically hold more stock in the ancient customs.

“We do use the moon and lunar calender, so the celebration changes every year, making this one Jan. 25 and next year Feb. 12,” she said.

An additional event on Jan. 25th at Cascades Casino will celebrate Chinese New Year with a traditional Lion Dance Ceremony and performance by the Fortune God.

Raymond MacNeil, Vice President of Operations, BC East of Gateway will be joined by the Mayor of Langley, Val van den Broek and MLA Mary Polak.

The ceremony and presentation runs from 12:50 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the gaming floor.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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