Vancouver Island University’s Nanaimo campus will take on a carnival-like atmosphere as Chinese students celebrate the Year of the Dragon during their annual Lunar New Year party on Saturday (Jan. 21).
The event is open to the public and takes place in the upper cafeteria (Building 300) from 2-5 p.m.
Festivities will include Chinese games, cultural displays, traditional performances by students and other volunteers, food and refreshments.
“We welcome people of all ages to this special celebration,” said student organizer Keon Wu. “The purpose of this event is to share our Chinese culture with the entire community. We decided on a carnival theme because we want people to have fun and make cultural connections.”
Co-organizer Ingrid Wang said Lunar New Year is one of the most important festival celebrations in China. Families get together and celebrate for 15 days straight. This year’s Year of the Dragon theme represents power, happiness and protection.
The celebration coincides with Lunar New Year festivities in downtown Nanaimo at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre hosted by the Chinese Cultural Society from 1-3 p.m.
“When the downtown event is over, we encourage people to come to the university to carry on the celebration,” said Wu.
Wang and Wu, who helped organize last year’s VIU Chinese New Year celebration, are in the second year of the Tourism and Recreation Management program. They were pleased to discover that Nanaimo is one of the oldest historical cities in Canada for Chinese culture.
Tickets for the Lunar New Year celebration are $8 per person ($6 for members of the VIU Chinese Club and VIU Recreation and Tourism Association) and are on sale in the upper cafeteria (Building 300) and at the reception area of the Centre for International Education, Bldg. 255 between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. this week.