Xin Nian Kuai Le - Happy New Year!
Feb 26, 2015
The eve of Wednesday, February 18 was an important one for a great many people this year. It marked the transition from the Chinese Year of the Horse to the Year of the Goat. If you missed it, don’t worry. Unlike the Western New Year which only lasts one day, Chinese New Year is a two-week-long celebration. If you'd like to be a part of this year's celebrations, you're in luck, there’s an event happening right here in the Peace Region this Saturday, February 28.
It may be a bit hard to remember when the Chinese New Year happens each year because it follows the lunar calendar so the date does not stay the same. Generally, it falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice (December 21 or 22). Therefore, it is always held between January 21 and February 20.
In the Chinese calendar each year is assigned an animal according to the Chinese Zodiac. Legend has it that the order of the animals was determined by a race. The rat tricked the ox into carrying her across the river and then quickly jumped off the ox when they reached the other side. This explains why the rat is the first in the cycle and the ox is second. The rest of the animals follow suit with the pig being last. The goat was the8th animal to cross the finish line.
In Chinese astrology, the goat is seen as creative, gentle, and calm, but also resolute and determined. If you were born in 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, or 2003, this is your year. That doesn’t mean, however, that 2015 will be a lucky year for you. On the contrary, Chinese astrology holds that the year of your birth sign is a dangerous time. Therefore, steps must be taken to ward off bad luck. Some of the more common ways of doing so are to wear jade jewellery or red clothing – particularly red underwear, and even more particularly red underwear that someone else bought for you.
If you’re interested in ushering in the Year of the Goat head to Grande Prairie this Saturday to join the Chinese Association of Grande Prairie for their New Year dinner at Revolution Place. Tickets are $60 for adults ($80 for VIP) and $30 for children 6-12. Cocktails are at 5 pm and dinner at 6 pm. Tickets may be purchased by calling the box office or you can purchase them online here.
To learn more about the origins and traditions of the Chinese New Year please click here.
To learn more about the Chinese Association of Grande Prairie’s Chinese New Year Celebration, check out the event listing.