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Celebration of Chinese New Year features flavourful dishes, exciting entertainment

Nearly 100 people packed into the Jade Restaurant on Feb. 3 to celebrate Chinese New Year and welcome the Year of the Rat

Jade Garden on Main Street celebrated Chinese New Year in style with many sumptuous dishes of food and the traditional lion dance, along with other fun activities.

Organized by the Moose Jaw Chinese Association (MJCA), nearly 100 people packed into the restaurant on Feb. 3 to celebrate the Chinese culture and welcome the Year of the Rat, the first in the repeating 12-year cycle of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac and that make up that culture’s calendar system.

People born in this particular year — 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, or 1924 — are considered outgoing, cheerful and sociable in character, while they are also alert, adaptable and observant. They get along with many people and have many friends around them.

During the meal, guests were able to sample 11 different dishes, such as dessert (as the first dish no less!), Peking duck, fish, chicken, beef, vegetables, soup, and fruit.

Throughout the evening, one person from each table won a gift based on certain criteria, such as being born in the Year of the Rat or for having the most children. Some of the gifts included sea salt, Christmas lights and traditional pork sausage.

Wandering around was a crew from the National Film Board. The team was working with Regina-based filmmaker Weiyu Su on a short documentary called Passage Beyond Fortune. Su has been working with residents Gale and Myrna Chow, along with their sons Kyle and Art, on a film about the Chows’ move to Regina this spring. The document also takes a look at how they have been involved in Moose Jaw for decades.

Gale Chow is the former owner of the Snow Hut.

Also during the supper, the MJCA honoured Chuey Quan, 94, for being the oldest member of the association in attendance. Quan, her husband, Yue Dat Quan, and their three daughters came to Moose Jaw in 1957 from Shaunavon. They opened a corner grocery store named Art's Grocery and Confectionery on Fairford Street West. They eventually raised seven daughters in this community; six of them attended the celebratory supper.  

Quan became an active supporting member of the Chinese Athletic Club and the Chinese Benevolent Society. She was one of many members who made events happen, such as putting on Chinese opera, singing, music, dance performances and Chinese school for the local Chinese community. She was also involved with the Moose Jaw Chinese United Church.

For more than 50 years Quan wholeheartedly supported all the activities that the Moose Jaw Chinese Association brought forward to keep the Moose Jaw Chinese community alive and vibrant.

A Chinese New Year wouldn’t be complete without the traditional lion dance to bring in good luck; youngsters James Tian and Bowen Wang provided the movements for the lion. Meanwhile, long-time MJCA members Wayne Kwan and Fay Kwan banged the drum and clanged cymbals, respectively, to call on the lion, while Angela Wen, 5, closed out the evening with a performance on the violin.

Gung ho fat choy (Happy New Year)!

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