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Red Deerians to celebrate Chinese New Year later this month

The Red Deer and District Chinese Community Society will host a Chinese New Year celebration on Feb. 24 to usher in the Year of the Dragon. (Advocate file photo)

There will be a lion dance, traditional dinner and performances during a Chinese New Year celebration later this month in Red Deer.

The Red Deer and District Chinese Community Society will host its celebration at Festival Hall on Saturday, Feb. 24, to usher in the Year of the Dragon.

“We have a professional lion dance troupe coming up from Calgary,” explained Lawrence Lee, president of the society and city councillor.

“We’ll also have martial arts performances. The Chinese Society operates a Chinese school at Lindsay Thurber (Comprehensive High School) and the students will be doing some performances, like singing and things like that. There will be a performance from a woman who plays a traditional Chinese instrument. In English it’s called a zither – it’s like a Chinese harp and it’s very rare. Not very many people play that instrument.”

The dragon is the fifth of the 12-year cycle of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac. The creature is considered powerful and vivacious with the strongest sense of self among its peers — including last year’s rabbit and next year’s snake.

“The Year of the Dragon is a really fortuitous year for other animals, like the rooster and monkey,” Lee explained.

“The dragon represents one of the most fortuitous symbols of the zodiac.”

The Chinese New Year is officially held on Feb. 10 and commemorates the first new moon of the lunar calendar, lasting up to 16 days.

“It’s all about celebrating the new year, making sure everything in the house is cleaned up and all your debts are paid off. It’s about looking forward to the future – that’s what all of the colours represent. It’s a happy time,” said Lee.

“A lot of Red Deerians travel back (to China) to celebrate the new year. Right now … (there are many people who) travel back to China. From all over the world, people go back and that’s why it’s a month-long celebration. Factories shut down and everything slows down so people can be with family to celebrate.”

For more information on Red Deer’s upcoming event, visit

—With files from The Associated Press

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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