Lunar New Year is about family, celebrating and forming community connections.
Haydon Fu, a member of the Chinese Freeman Society Nanaimo Branch, said the Lunar New Year is the “biggest cultural event for all Chinese people.”
“This is like Chinese Christmas time,” he said.
The Nanaimo Chinese Cultural Society is hosting a Nanaimo Lunar New Year Dinner Gala Sunday (Feb. 12) in partnership with the Nanaimo Asian Professionals Association, Nanaimo Chinese Women Society and Chinese Freeman Society Nanaimo Branch.
Cindy Qin, a member of the Nanaimo Chinese Women Society, said the organizations decided to host a dinner gala this year to create a friendly atmosphere where people can mingle and get to know each other. Last year, the cultural society hosted the Mulan Percussion Musical at the Port Theatre.
She said it is also an opportunity to showcase the talents of local performers.
“We wanted them to show their talents and give them the opportunity to share our Chinese culture,” she said.
The gala dinner features more than 20 performers, which includes Chinese folk dancers, musicians, singers, storytellers, a the lion dance and more. It also includes a “talk show,” which is a Chinese cultural show with comedic moments, said Limin Yu, event coordinator and member of the Nanaimo Chinese Cultural Society.
He said the gala event is meant to create a feeling of family.
“The Chinese Cultural Society, our goal is to create a sense of belonging and fellowship for Chinese people, but also to work with other cultural groups,” said Yu, adding that these kinds of events help make the community more diverse. “We really hope lots of people from the community come. Lunar New Year is not only for Chinese people to celebrate.”
He said Lunar New Year is celebrated in several Asian cultures, not just China.
The Lunar New Year Gala is Sunday at 4 p.m. at Beban Park’s social centre. It features a buffet dinner with selections from the Ting Shang Chinese restaurant and Shanghai City restaurant.
Tickets are $30 for adults, $15 for children under 12 years old and children three years old and younger are admitted for free but must be reserved. Tickets are available at 250-754-8550 or www.porttheatre.com.