“Gong xi fa cai!” That is in Mandarin for happiness and prosperity in the Chinese new year which began on February 8th, 2016 and goes until January 27th, 2017. “King hei fat choy!” is the Cantonese for the same thing. This is the Year of the Fire Monkey, and that animal is clever, and is compared to a smart person. I have a friend who goes home to visit her mother each year in Taiwan and I am sorry that I did not wish her a happy new year before she left town. But you can bet that she is celebrating the beginning of the new year by eating fish, as the word for carp sounds like “good luck” and “gift”. Celery is eaten as it is symbolic for wisdom, and plums are symbolic for a sharp mind. Steamed buns are eaten because they are tasty. New clothes are worn, preferably in red, as that symbolizes prosperity. So if you know anyone who is Chinese, make sure to wish them a great year of the Fire Monkey. I wish that there was a bakery in Charlotte that makes steamed buns, but I shall have to track some down the next time I am in Vancouver.
On the same day, February 8th, was another holiday: Family Day. The past one is only the second day that the provincial holiday has been celebrated in B.C. Christy Clark decided that she would give our province a holiday in February; each province does not have this holiday, so it is not a federal holiday. Not everyone gets this holiday off, and many stores are open, but all the schools on the islands were closed. Speaking of the three-day weekend, the football game was fun, but we all know why we watched: for the ads and the musical show.
Bruce Ives, the person who got this project of “Operation Refugees Haida Gwaii” now has the backing of Literacy Haida Gwaii. The goal is to sponsor two families, (of up to eight people in each). The plan is to have one family in Sandspit, and one in Charlotte. There are a number of ways to support this project. By donating dollars at Northern Savings Credit Union: Trust Account #7392087, by sending a cheque to box 448, in Charlotte, or by credit card on-line.
You can also give donations in kind, such as furniture and clothing. We may be a population of only 4,500 people on Haida Gwaii, but I know that we are a generous group of people that always steps up when others need our help. So I think that the goal of $50,000 is attainable.
Valentine’s Day is Sunday, February 14th, and I know that Masset’s “Valentino” will be happening sometime that week-end. So be on the look-out for posters and a date.
Next week, February 19th is when we can see the opening of the All Islands’ Art Show at 7 p.m. at the Haida Gwaii Museum in Skidegate. If you are interested in purchasing any of the art that is for sale, come early, because those gems go fast.
I know that I am not the only one out there that is wild for the “Oscars” and I am looking forward to the last Sunday in February on the 28th when the Academy Awards is on TV; so put that date on your calendar.
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