Rapid drumming and clashing cymbals welcomed the Year of the Rat at the Cascades Casino Resort in Langley on Saturday, Jan. 25.
Members of the Bak Mei Canada Kung Fu club from Vancouver performed the Lion Dance to celebrate the Lunar Year.
It was the second of three appearances by the club that day, coordinator Tony Chan explained.
“We’re always very busy on new Year’s,” Chan told the Langley Advance Times.
Dancers in traditional lion costumes performed a strenuous dance, leaping high to “swallow” lettuce hanging from the ceiling of the casino foyer, where the performance took place.
Then, they sprayed fragments of the green leafs about.
A few minutes after the dancers left the foyer began a circuit of the casino gaming floor, two cleaners arrived to remove the greenery from the floor, only to be told they would have to leave it there until the dancers came back.
Luck gets gets better the longer the lettuce lies undisturbed, they were told.
“Lettuce is money,” Chan related.
“We’re always talking about fortune.”
Gateway Casinos vice president of operations Raymond MacNeil, Langley MLA Mary Polak and Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek attended the event.
It was the only celebration of the Lunar New Year that day in Langley, after the evening Living In Langley event was canceled out of rising concern about the coronavirus spreading from China to Canada that led more than 200 people, including some performers, to cancel.
Chan said the club was not concerned about a possible hazard, but understands why the organizers of the other Langley event took the action they did.
“At this moment, I’m not worried,” Chan commented.
Muriel Arnason Library in Langley is planning a Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday, Feb. 1 from 2 to 3 p.m.
It is located at the Township of Langley Civic Facility at 20338, 65th Ave.
Multicultural dances, crafts (including how to make a “lucky” envelope), draws, displays, and food samples will all be part of the event, which is free and open to all.