Admission will now be free for the interactive Chinese New Year celebration hosted by the Kanata Chinese Seniors Support Centre.
Tickets will still be required to enter the event in order to track the number of participants, but the support centre decided to drop admission charges to make the fête accessible to everyone.
“We wanted to (reach out) to the majority,” said Wen Jean Ho, founder of the Chinese seniors centre.
The Kanata Chinese Seniors Support Centre is a non-profit organization that aims to establish, develop and maintain a support hub for Chinese seniors in Kanata and the surrounding areas.
In the past, the centre has hosted New Year’s events with dancing and traditional foods, but this year will offer more interaction with the public and a chance for others to learn about the Chinese culture.
“We wanted to have something different from previous years,” said Ho. “We hope that when people come to the Chinese New Year they learn something.It’s a way for people to connect, for different cultures to connect.”
The event, which takes place on Feb. 10 in the upper halls at the Mlacak Centre, will feature interactive stations where the public can learn to make traditional foods and crafts.
“This is a traditional Chinese New Year and (a way) to preserve the culture,” said Su Qin Ho, a member of the group, through an interpreter.
Various live performances will detail the traditions behind the Chinese New Year.
“It’s East meets West,” said Sofia Anderson, a member of the Kanata Chinese Seniors Support Centre. “(People will) see how we are, how we function.”
The New Year celebration includes:
* An activity centre where people can learn paper-cutting and Chinese lantern-making techniques.
* Food stations where attendees can make dumplings, a traditional New Year treat to bring good financial luck.
* Teaching areas where people can learn how to read Chinese characters, about traditional medicines and first aid, and a background in history of the culture.
A tea ceremony will be performed, as will a theatrical performance, puppet shows and Chinese zodiac reading.
“According to traditional Chinese legend, ages ago Buddha summoned all of the animals and honored the 12 that came by naming a year for them. Each animal in turn gave its characteristics to people born in its year,” said Anderson.
The 12 animals are: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, serpent, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
People born in the year of the serpent are “very wise and very (strong-willed), physically beautiful, yet vain and high-tempered,” Anderson said. “The ox, rooster and dragon are fine (matches), but the tiger and pig will bring trouble.”
Raffle tickets will be sold for the chance to win a number of door prizes and donations will be accepted during the event to help offset the costs of the support centre’s programs.
The Chinese New Year kicks off on Sunday, Feb. 10, and lasts for 15 days. The support centre will ring in the Year of the Serpent on Feb. 10 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Mlacak Centre, 2500 Campeau Dr.
Admission is free but tickets are required for entry. There is a limited availability of tickets due to safety codes. To order tickets, call 613-656-2324 or 613-270-0725 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details, visit KCSSC.org.