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Feb 16, 2018

Happy Chinese New Year!

Traditionally, the ringing in of a new year takes place at midnight between December thirty-first and January first, with merrymakers joining voices for the refrain of Auld Lang Syne.  The Chinese New Year, however, varies each year and lasts for over two weeks.  The 2018 Chinese New Year begins today, based on the lunar calendar.  On New Year’s Eve, Chinese families come together for a reunion dinner and clean their houses to sweep away bad fortune on New Year’s Day.  This is the Year of the Dog.  According to Asian astrology, anyone born in an Earth Dog year will be communicative, serious and responsible in the workplace.  Earlier today, News Five spoke with Edmund Kwan, President of the Belize Chinese Association, who told us about the annual celebration in Belize.

 

Edmund Kwan

Edmund Kwan, President, Belize Chinese Association

“We’re having a lion dance parade on the seventeenth of February, that’s tomorrow, Saturday, a citywide parade and also a banquet on Sunday at the Ramada King’s Room.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Talk to us a bit about the celebration for this year; I know it’s the year of the dog.  What is the significance of that in Chinese culture?”

 

Edmund Kwan

“Well Chinese have a twelve-year zodiac.  Every year it changes and it repeats itself every twelve years.  2018 is the Year of the Dog.  The dog symbolizes loyalty, honesty and stuff like that.  The banquet is the largest celebration that the Chinese Association hosts.  We cater to seven hundred and fifty guests, both Belizeans and Chinese and then we have raffles.  This year we have presentations from the marimba and the Belize Dance Company to display Creole, Mestizo culture dance and as such it’s a cultural exchange and exposure to the general Chinese public to the guests of our Belizean cultures.”

 

Traditionally, kids would be given red envelopes stuffed with lucky money and positive wishes on New Year’s Day.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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