Local Chinese dancers will entertain at the New Year’s celebration (photo from Red Deer’s Chinese cultural society).

Red Deer drummers, dancers and singers welcome Chinese Year of the Dog

Festival Hall celebration will be on Saturday, Feb. 17

The Chinese Year of the Dog is being welcomed with a huge community celebration in Red Deer next week.

What’s expected to be the largest Chinese New Year celebration of the last five years will unfold at Festival Hall on Saturday, Feb. 17.

Everybody’s welcome to take in the two-hour program of singing, dancing and drumming, as well as a wide array of food — both traditional Chinese and Western, said Ming Jiao, former president of the Red Deer & District Chinese Community Society.

The Year of the Dog officially starts on Feb. 16, precipitating the most important holiday of the year for Chinese people around the globe.

With its steady and loyal characteristics, the Earth Dog, according to Chinese astrology, is a more predictable symbol than last year’s naughty and impetuous Monkey. Could 2018 then be more economically stable than 2017?

Jiao sure hopes so — although he noted with a chuckle, that this week’s stock market dip wasn’t exactly reassuring.

Red Deer’s Chinese community goes back to the city’s earliest days, so Jiao expects many long-time resident seniors to be at the celebration — as well as more recent Chinese arrivals, and non-Chinese families who want enjoy some Asian culture.

While there’s no Lion Dance this year, for a change of pace, there will be an opening drum dance. Jiao said this will be followed by a youth Kung Fu demonstration, some ensemble dancing by several local groups, including the Xinjiang and Beautiful Blessing dances, and the musical Cheongsam fashion show.

Solo, duet and choir singing will performed, as well as Tai Chi. And the audience will get to hear a solo played on the ehru, a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, known as the Chinese violin.

Jiao sees the 4:30 p.m. event as a joyous celebration of Chinese culture — and a chance to share it with the community. To buy tickets please call 403-598-0366, or email jiaoming_3@hotmail.com.


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