Mr. Speaker, February 1 marks the beginning of the lunar year 4701 of the Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year started more than 4,000 years ago and is celebrated today by people all over the world and in Canada. It is a time for families to come together and to rejoice, looking forward to the year to come.
Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came and Buddha named a year after each one. This new year comes under the sign of the ram, an auspicious symbol, offering amiability, sensitivity and peace in the coming year.
The Chinese New Year presents an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about each other and about the richness of Chinese culture in Canada.
On this important occasion, we would like to wish our Chinese Canadians a happy and prosperous new year.