The god of fortune paid the Cascades Casino in Langley City a visit on Saturday, handing out traditional red gift envelopes to surprised players on the gaming floor as he made a circuit of the slot machines and table games with two teams of traditional lion dancers and traditional musicians following behind.
The celebration of the Chinese year of the pig began in the foyer of the casino, with the lion dancers demonstrating their acrobatic ability by devouring two dangling heads of lettuce with the heads of their costumes, leaving the the chewed up bits spread across the floor.
Langley City mayor Val van den Boek, Langley MLA Mary Polak and Ray MacNeil – vice-president of operations for Gateway casinos – were present.
It was one of two celebrations of the lunar new year in the Langleys.
Later in the day, at the Muriel Arnason library, the 11th annual Chinese New Year celebration included multicultural dances and music, displays, crafts, lucky envelopes, and some New Year’s foods.
More than 350 people attended the event, including Township councillors Petrina Arnason and Steve Ferguson, along with MP John Aldag.
A few days previously, the New Year got off to an early start in Langley at the fifth annual Live in Langley Chinese Association gala held at the Church in the Valley on Old Yale Road last weekend, attended by 900.
On Sunday, there was a fourth celebration at the Timms Community Centre in Langley City with a dragon dance, folk dancing, a calligraphy demonstration and special treats for the occasion.
There was even a special sign language demonstration.
The City branch, at 20399 Douglas Cres. teamed up with the Tzu Chi charity foundation to present the free event.