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Return of in-person Chinese New Year supper a feast for the taste buds

The Moose Jaw Chinese Community Network hosted the delicious banquet on Jan. 23 at the Jade Garden Restaurant, with nearly 150 people enjoying food and fellowship. 

After a two-year absence, residents gathered again to celebrate Chinese New Year and enjoy a dozen extravagant ethnic dishes that left bellies sated and pants a little tighter.

The Moose Jaw Chinese Community Networkformerly the Moose Jaw Chinese Association — hosted the delicious banquet on Jan. 23 at the Jade Garden Restaurant, with nearly 150 people enjoying food and fellowship. 

The opening day of this year’s Chinese New Year was on Jan. 22, while the celebration lasts 15 days and ends on Sunday, Feb. 5, with the Lantern Festival. 

Attendees also helped welcome the Year of the (Water) Rabbit, the fourth symbol in the repeating 12-year cycle of animals appearing in the Chinese zodiac. The rabbit symbolizes longevity, peace and prosperity, while the most compatible zodiac signs with this animal are goats, dogs and pigs — just stay away from horses.

People born in this particular year — 2023, 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939 and 1927 — are considered gentle, quiet, polite, vigilant, witty, quick-minded, ingenious, skillful, kind, patient, intelligent, elegant and chic.

Their sense of responsibility and attention to detail lead to great career success. They sometimes are reluctant to reveal their minds to others and tend to escape reality but are always faithful to those around them. 

Overall, people born in the rabbit year are happy, lucky and a joy to have around.

During the meal, guests could sample 12 different dishes, such as crab meat, roasted barbecue pork, free-range chicken, crispy shrimp with walnuts, diced marble beef, crystal peach ribs, fish fillet with cashews and snow peas, crispy squash with fresh mushrooms, seasonable vegetables, fried rice with shrimp and genmai, fruits and brownies — all very mouth-wateringly tasty.

Throughout the evening, board directors Judy Quon and Kelvin Hu (president) gave door prizes to those with the correct ticket numbers. Prizes ranged from chocolate to yellow jade jewelry. They also gave prizes to anyone over age 80 as a sign of respect. 

Members of the network include: Hu, Lin Fong, Quon, Mary Lee Booth, Gary Wong, Yanxia Liu, Helen Bai, Yeng Ling, Sandy Liu, Shaun Nanan and Xiaoming Zhu.

Quon and Hu kicked off the supper banquet by bringing greetings from the board — she in English, he in Mandarin — followed by comments from Travis Olson with RBC’s Moose Jaw branch. He then helped hand out hundreds of red envelopes, each with one loonie inside. 

According to the legend, a demon called Sui terrorized sleeping children on New Year’s Eve, so the parents tried to keep the kids awake to keep them safe.

One night, a child was given eight coins to play with to stay awake, but eventually became bored and fell asleep. The demon appeared and attempted to harm the child, but the coins emitted a strong light that scared off the demon. 

Today, the red envelope is a symbolic continuation of these eight coins, symbolizing good luck and protection from evil spirits.   

Unlike previous years, there was no traditional lion dance because the organization’s costume was in the shop for repairs. However, there’s always next year. 

Gung ho fat choy (Happy New Year)!

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