Tony Chan was having a busy Lunar New Year’s day.
On Sunday morning, Jan. 22, Chan brought lion dancers and musicians, along with a performer done up as the god of good fortune, to Cascades Casino Langley to give a traditional welcome to the Year of the Rabbit.
It was the second of four appearances for the performers that day, and Chan was delighted to be back after the years of pandemic restrictions that kept the performers away.
“We stopped for three years,” Chan told the Langley Advance Times.
“It’s exciting to be back.”
Patricia Mori, Cascades marketing and promotions manager, agreed.
“This is the first since 2020,” Mori remarked.
“It’s exciting that we do this again.”
The casino floor was packed with visitors.
Cascades Assistant General Manager Jarrod Osborne welcomed the performers and visiting dignitaries — Langley City Council members Leith White, Rosemary Wallace, Delaney Mack, Mike Solyom and Langley MLA Andrew Mercier.
“We hope you enjoy the celebration,” Osborne said.
City councillor and acting mayor Leith White called the event a “celebration of renewal, while Mercier said it was “awesome” to see so many people attending.
Raymond MacNeil, vice president of operations, BC East of Gateway, described the event as a “beautiful tradition.”
“It’s a chance for us to pause and connect with our community – something we look forward to year after year,” MacNeil commented.
It marked the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit, viewed as a symbol of thoughtfulness and caution, that comes once every 12 years. Previous years were 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011.
READ ALSO: 5 things to know about Lunar New Year and the Year of the Rabbit
More photos from the event can be viewed on the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
B.C. Government and opposition leaders issued New Year’s messages, with “premier David Eby making a call to “continue our work together to build a stronger, more inclusive province for everyone.”
“After several years apart, it is wonderful to see communities throughout B.C. come alive once again with vibrant Lunar New Year celebrations,” Eby added.
Liberal leader Kevin Falcon wished all a safe, healthy, and prosperous Year of the Rabbit, and thanked Asian-Canadians for the many contribution they have made and for sharing “your culture and traditions with us. “
READ ALSO: China rings in Year of Rabbit with most COVID rules lifted
On Sunday, people across China rang in the Lunar New Year with large family gatherings and crowds visiting temples, all possible now that the government lifted its strict “zero-COVID” policy.
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