Gung hay fat choy.

Officially, Chinese New Year isn’t until a little later on this week, but that hasn’t stopped a number of venues from celebrating a little early. Even then, calling it Chinese New Year isn’t exactly accurate or inclusive either. It’s the Lunar New Year celebrated by all sorts of cultures throughout Asia, from Vietnam to Malaysia and beyond. At least one local mall recognizes that.

Oh, and by pure coincidence, this happens to be vlog number 8. How lucky. But I digress.

At Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby over the weekend, they held celebrations for the Lunar Festival. As it turns out, Burnaby is apparently the most diverse city in the province. Instead of a “kung-fu” or “wushu” demonstration, we got a martial arts demo from a nearby school. Given the large Korean population in the Burquitlam area (it’s where you’ll find Kimbab Heaven and House of Tofu Soup), the inclusion of Korean drums was also very welcome.

This is just a taste, of course. There are a lot more celebrations going on throughout Metro Vancouver in the days to come, including the popular parade in Chinatown on Sunday, as well as numerous festivities throughout Richmond. Many of them involve a traditional lion dance with a blessing of the merchants.

As a kid, I loved receiving those red envelopes. Free money is always good, right? As a married man and father, now I’m on the giving side of that transaction. By my count, we’re attending at least three or four family dinners this coming weekend. It’s a good thing I’ve stocked up on some “lai see” in preparation.

Do you have any favourite Lunar New Year traditions? Is there anything special happening in your area?