Mr. Speaker, xin nián kuài lè. Tomorrow marks the official start of the lunar new year, the most important festival in Chinese and other Asian cultures.
We kicked things off last weekend in Calgary's Chinatown, where I will be celebrating again tomorrow with my friends. For the next weeks, we will be entertained by the drums beating during the lion dance and swirling dragons weaving among us, which is fitting this year as we are celebrating the year of the dragon.
Dragons are much more auspicious creatures in the Chinese zodiac than they represent in western culture. The dragon symbolizes power, nobility, honour, luck and success. This year's dragon, the wood dragon, stands out as the most creative and visionary. It is a year for people to pursue their dreams and be compassionate to their friends.
To all my friends in Calgary's Chinese and East Asian communities, I say “gung hei fat choy” and “gong xi fa cai”.
I offer them my best wishes for a new year filled with love, peace and prosperity.