As if on cue, winter’s icy grip gave way to an unexpected 6°-afternoon for St. David’s Lunar New Year Luncheon February 17. Sun melted the last vestige of slush in the car park as parishioners and friends gathered for an event also known as Spring Festival – a time to mark the end of the coldest days and to welcome spring.
Bolstered by thoughts of the Biblical ‘ in due season’, and eager to share Asian traditional New Year’s decor, customs and food, some 60 people filled the parish hall to participate in St. David’s Second Lunar celebration. Focusing on colours appropriate to the occasion, decorators Juliana Marks, Sara Ciantar, Jenifer Zhu and Claudia Niu, ensured that the much-loved Chinese red, signifying happiness and good fortune, set the overall tone for a special day in the social life of the parish.
More specific were feature decorations depicting the red-door-entrance to the Forbidden City’s Royal Palace in Beijing, and The Great Wall of China, the latter replicated with multi-squares of painted simulated stone. “I didn’t believe we could actually create such a big project in the beginning”, Claudia explained, “but dedication and hard work of several talented young people made it happen.”
While no Chinese celebratory buffet table would be complete without Xiaocong Wu’s steaming-hot Jiaozi dumplings (crescent-shaped dough filled with minced meat and finely chopped vegetables), it took many more hands to help Xiaocong (Jenifer Zhu’s Mom) achieve her wide-choice-menu of appetizers, salads, casseroles, and desserts.
After-lunch activity at a hands-on-calligraphy table drew a constant flow of participants keen to produce their own simple-stroke example of one of the most important ancient Chinese art forms. Regardless of the logogram’s message, coloured sheets of Chinese characters became personal souvenirs of one of the world’s oldest surviving languages.