Gung Hay Fat Choy: Not leaving luck up to chance

Students from the Chinese Public School on Fisgard Street practise their Lion Dance in preparation for Chinese New Year’s celebrations.

Students from the Chinese Public School on Fisgard Street practise their Lion Dance in preparation for Chinese New Year’s celebrations.

Year of the rabbit rung in today

With Chinese New Year here, Charlayne Thornton-Joe already has a fresh list of New Year’s resolutions at the ready.

“I always joke, whatever resolutions I broke after Jan. 1, I can start over and make them again,” said the Victoria city councillor, who is also an active volunteer in Victoria’s Chinese community.

With Chinese New Year ringing in today (Feb. 3), she says there may be much to look forward to in the year of the rabbit.

“A lot of us are happy to be leaving the tiger year,” Thornton-Joe said.

Gone will be a fast-moving, dramatic and volatile year, replaced by a year of calm and peace – qualities associated with the rabbit symbol, one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac based on the lunar calendar.

“It’s about keeping the peace. It’s the calm after a stormy year,” Thornton-Joe said.

In China, the upcoming year is actually being heralded as that of the golden rabbit, a colour associated with wealth, prosperity and a large dose of luck.

Coupled with the rabbit’s serenity, this year “will be a time for you to catch your breath,” said Ying Sun, Mandarin language instructor at Camosun College.

For some of the 30,000 in the Greater Victoria Chinese community, they won’t be leaving their luck up to chance.

In addition to embracing lucky red and gold colours, it seems a long life, wealth and good fortune can also come from edible delights such as noodles and oranges, and fish served whole and eaten from head to tail.

“It means the good year will last from the beginning to the end of the year,” said Kileasa Wong, principal of the Chinese Public School.

Depending on how traditional and superstitious someone is, they may not want to use a broom or wash their hair on New Year’s Day for fear of sweeping or washing out their good luck.

For most, New Year’s is a time to gather with family, in addition to ringing in a new beginning.

And for Thornton-Joe that may include a fresh start by setting new personal goals.

“I get a second chance,” she said with a chuckle.

Mark your calendar

Chinese New Year events:

• Feb. 3-10: The Hotel Grand Pacific restaurant is serving up symbolic and auspicious foods in a special Chinese New Year menu.

• Feb. 5: Twenty-five performances from martial arts to traditional Chinese dancing will celebrate the lunar New Year at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Rd. on Saturday at 7 p.m. Free. Everyone welcome.

• Feb. 6: Annual lion dance, kung fu and tai chi demonstrations, traditional Chinese dancing, dragon performances and Chinese tea ceremonies on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. near the Gate of Harmonious Interest in the 500-block of Fisgard Street.

• Feb. 5-6: Heart and Hands Health Centre, located at 6-2020 Douglas St., will host a Chinese New Year open house, Saturday and Sunday. The weekend will feature $5 and $10 drop-in services, from yoga to massage.

• Feb. 20: The Chinese Culture Club of Victoria hosts a buffet Chinese dinner, performances and a DJ’d dance at 7 p.m. at the Red Lion Inn, 3366 Douglas St. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under, and are available by calling 250-882-8861 or 250-857-9288.

Just Posted

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read