Celebrating the Year of the Snake

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After nearly being cancelled due to last weekend's storm, the Chinese community in P.E.I. finally got to ring in the Year of the Snake on Saturday.

Approximately 750 people packed into the Charlottetown Trade Centre for the Chinese New Year's celebration, which saw colourful clothing, a buffet of chinese food and  a number of other cultural traditions.

Event co-ordinator Wayne Jiang thanked and welcomed guests and said he was happy the event was pulled off.

"We are deeply honoured," he said inviting guests, which included Lt.-Gov Frank Lewis as well as political representatives from the federal, provincial and municipal levels.

The celebration, hosted by the Chinese Canadian Association of P.E.I., would have originally occurred on the actual Chinese New Year date of Feb. 10 but weather put a stop to those plans.

The celebration was then scheduled to happen last Saturday, but a weekend blizzard postponed the event. With food already having been prepared for the celebration, organizers were unusually unsure whether or not it could be postponed.

However, the blizzard ultimately didn't stop the large crowd, made up of both individuals from the Chinese community and Islanders, from mingling throughout the afternoon and evening while enjoying a variety of entertainment and food.

UPEI professor Linyuan Guo, who interpreted for the president of the association, said the celebration can also be bittersweet for Chinese people who've moved to P.E.I. since it is the holiday usually cherished with family and friends.

"At this special moment, we particularly miss our relatives and family thousands of miles away in China. However, I believe they would be gratified to know we are leading happy and healthy lives in P.E.I.," said Guo. "They would also be happy for us if they knew we were celebrating the Chinese New Year with seven hundred and fifty guests."

The event was sponsored by 20 local businesses.

The Chinese New Year date varies every year depending on the lunar calendar.


Organizations: Charlottetown Trade Centre, Chinese Canadian Association

Geographic location: P.E.I., China

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