Happy Lunar New Year!

Vancouver's annual Chinese New Year parade in 2014. Photo by Ward Perrin/The Vancouver Sun

Vancouver’s annual Chinese New Year parade in 2014
Photo by Ward Perrin/The Vancouver Sun

Adapted from article written by Nila Gopaul, originally posted to The Westcoast Reader, February 2015

Every year, during Lunar New Year,
many cities and towns in B.C.
are filled with red banners.
Sometimes there are lion dances,
parades and crowds.
Restaurants are filled with many people.

Around the world
Lunar New Year celebrations
last for 15 days.
Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean communities
celebrate this time.
Sometimes this holiday is called
the Spring Festival.

Why is red important?
Red is the colour of luck, joy and wealth.
Stories long ago say evil is frightened
by the colour red.
The colour is similar to fire.

Red envelopes
Older adults give red envelopes
to younger, unmarried family members.
It is a blessing for good luck, health and wealth.
Usually the envelopes have money.
A parent might give each child $100.
An aunt may give a nephew $20.
A family friend may give $5.

Why is food important?
New Year’s Eve dinner
is the most important meal
of this holiday.
Often, families get together.

Dishes like whole fish, dumplings, chicken
and vegetarian Buddha’s Feast
are favourite foods during this holiday.
Many people believe
these foods bring good luck.

Fish and dumplings
The Chinese word for “fish” is yue.
Yue sounds like “wealth” in Chinese.
And dumplings look like old Chinese money.

Finishing a fish dinner Photo by Jonathan Ooi/CC, Flickr

Finishing a fish dinner
Photo by Jonathan Ooi/CC, Flickr

Dumplings before cooking Photo by kattebelletje/CC, Flickr

Dumplings before cooking
Photo by kattebelletje/CC, Flickr

Chinese gold ingots Photo by Raymondtan85/CC, Flickr

Old Chinese money called gold ingots
Photo by raymondtan85/CC, Flickr

Chicken
Chicken is also a traditional dish.
Sometimes, a restaurant may write
“phoenix” on its menu, not chicken.
The Phoenix is a bird in storybooks.
This bird symbolizes rebirth.

A drawing of a phoenix Photo – Public Domain

A drawing of a phoenix
Photo – Public Domain

Buddha’s Feast
Buddha’s Feast is made with eight vegetarian ingredients.
Eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture.
The number sounds like “wealth” in Chinese.

Buddha's feast Photo by Louise Gadd/CC, Flickr

Buddha’s feast
Photo by Louise Gadd/CC, Flickr

Shopping
Some malls and stores in communities across B.C.
will have celebrations, too.
This is the time to buy new shoes and clothes.
New things symbolize new beginnings, a fresh foot forward.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!
This means “Best wishes and Congratulations.
Have a prosperous and good year.”

Events

  1. 2017 Spring Festival Parade is on January 29
    Click here for more information and a map or the route.
  2. Lunar New Year Festival Schedule of Events

This year, people celebrate the Year of the Rooster.

Watch this video at the Vancouver parade in 2014:

The December issue of The Westcoast Reader newspaper is out!!

December is a month of festivities. In this issue of the newspaper you will find our annual calendar on the middle pages with dates for holidays and events coming up in 2017. You’ll also find articles on driving in the winter and the outcome of the American election for president.

wcr-december-front-page

 

Download the Teacher's Notes

 Reading by: Patty Bossort

The next issue of the newspaper will be out the first week in January.

We are interested in your comments about The Westcoast Reader newspaper and this website. What do you think? Please send us your comments.

Find out how to subscribe to the newspaper by clicking on the Subscribe button.

 

 

Remembrance Day

Canadian soldieirs returning from Vimy Ridge Photo courtesy of the Vimy Ridge Foundation, colourized by Canadian Colour Canadian War Museum George Metcalf ARchival Collection 19920085-295

Canadian soldiers returning from Vimy Ridge
Photo courtesy of the Vimy Ridge Foundation, colourized by Canadian Colour
Canadian War Museum George Metcalf Archival Collection 19920085-295

Lest we forget

November 11     Remembrance Day

Level 3

November 11 is Remembrance Day in Canada. On this day we honour Canadians who fought and died in wars. Many communities have special events and parades on Remembrance Day.

Watch this Remembrance Day ad from the Government of Canada

Red poppies

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow ... Photo by Pixabay

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow …
Photo by Pixabay

Sixty thousand Canadians died in World War I. Many were buried in Flanders fields in Belgium. Red poppies grow on the graves in the fields. Red poppies are the symbol of Remembrance Day. People donate to help veterans by buying poppies from veterans on the street.

Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McRae wrote a famous poem about war and the poppies called In Flanders Fields.

 

Download to read the whole story.

Listen to the story Remembrance Day 
 Reading by: Patty Bossort

.

Resources:

Learn more about the poem, In Flanders Fields, and the man who wrote it.

Watch this video, The Poppy Story from Poppy Scotland Education.

Watch this video, The Tower of London Poppies in England. 88,246 bright red ceramic poppies are planted at the Tower of London. Each poppy represents a soldier who died in the First World War.

Look at these resources for teachers and educators provided by the Vimy Foundation about the upcoming centennial of Vimy Ridge in their Vimy 100 in the Classroom.

Contest for young Canadians aged 14 – 17. Vimy Pilgrimage Award. 

2017 is the 100th anniversary of the Battle at Vimy Ridge. 

Learn more about The Battle at Vimy Ridge.

Story reprinted from The Westcoast Reader newspaper,  September / October 2016