That promise was at the centre of the Chinese New Year’s festival on Jan. 28 at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Calgary.
Thousands of people thronged the streets of Chinatown in the core for the celebration, on a chilly and gray Saturday.
Guests attended with their friends and families dressed up in long cheongsam and button-up suits, while children wore colourful qipaos.
“Chinese New Year’s [day] is like a second Christmas, where families and friends get together to eat cake and exchange gifts, but it’s more of a time to celebrate with family,” Sandra Zhu, a visitor from the Xinjiang area in China, explained.
The Chinese zodiac was created back in the 14th century B.C., and it follows the cycle of the moon.
This year, the year of the rooster, recognizes those born under that sign as being hard-working, resourceful, courageous and talented, according to the website China Highlights.
“I think it’s unique how we first have the zodiac sign, then the Chinese zodiac signs as well. I belong to the year of the mice, and my zodiac sign is Scorpio. I think that’s awesome,” said Danny Nguyen, a 21-year-old student from Mount Royal University, who also came out for the celebration.
Also on hand to see the parade of colourful displays were Alberta Premier Rachael Notley and Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
The celebration began with performers coming from the Chinese Cultural Centre holding drums. They were followed by five different dancing lions and one dancing clown-dragon.
Families and friends greeted each other with hugs and red packets containing money that is given to children and young single adults as a new year’s gift.
“For many different families who celebrate Chinese New Year’s [day] we all have a dinner that is usually meant for reunions. It could be held on the day of the new year or the day before,” said Ky Quoc, a father of five children.
After the parade, the event continued inside the cultural centre.
There was a whole table full of egg tarts, cake, and many other pastries for guests and children to snack on. During the performances on stage, candy and party streamers were thrown out to the crowd.