D&G Gets Set To Celebrate Year Of The Rooster

Dumfries and Galloway Multicultural Association (DGMA) is celebrating the Chinese New Year 2017 ( Year of the Rooster), and everyone is invited to join in.

The Chinese New Year celebrations 2017, funded by Roots Scotland and is sponsored by many local businesses and organisations. It begins on Saturday 4th of February 12noon at the Bakers Oven.  The festivities will commence with a grand parade through the town centre where the people of Dumfries will be treated to the spectacular sight of the traditional Lion Dance.

At 12.30 the celebrations will continue at the Bakers Oven, with series of indoor workshop activities such as lantern making and Chinese writing which gives the message of hope and unity. Everyone is invited to bring along food to share with all on the day.

During this week; starting 31st of January till 4th of February from 12 noon to 4pm every day, DGMA will be holding the Roots Scotland exhibition and also highlighting some of the work we have been doing in the DGMA.

Extra notes to the Editor:

Roots Scotland Project:

Roots Scotland is a 3 year (2014-2017) project funded by Historic Environment Scotland. The main aims of the project are increasing minority ethnic communities’ knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of Scottish history and encouraging participation in the mainstream services that celebrate historic environment.

DGMA have been involved with a series of site visits to the historic places, including trip to Caelaverock Castle, Savings Bank Museum, Dumbarting Castle, Ellisland Farm and Sweetheart Abbey. After visiting the New Abbey, the DGMA’s Art Group were inspired to draw and paint the things they seen in Sweetheart Abbey, which are now being exhibited as part of the Roots Scotland in the Bakers Oven.

Chinese New Year Traditions:

A series of colorful celebration activities begin on the first day of the first lunar month of the year in Chinese calendar and it will last 15 days.

No matter in the city or in the countryside, all the people will do one thing that is to extend Spring Festival greetings. This activity begins at first between family members.

Relatives will drop each other a visit during the Spring Festival to give their best wishes.

Spring Festival visit (First footing) is to give your New Year greetings when you are out. Have a luck talk (Happy New Year! GONG HEI FAT CHOI) May you come into a good fortune! A luck talk can bring luck to people in the New Year.

In recent years, people began to use telephone, email and sms to extend their Spring Festival wishes.

Although people have different ways of extending the Spring Festival wishes now, for children, one thing still remains unchanged. This is, when they pay a Spring Festival visit to their elders, elders will give them Yasuiqian, i.e. gift money. Since Yasuiqian is money put into a small red paper envelope, people also call it “red bag/envelope/packet” the children will kowtow (baw) to the elder and give them best wishes, then they will give children New Year money.

Actually, “sui” in yasuiqian has a homonym which means evil spirit. Yasuiqian is to get rid of this evil spirit and bad luck. So people give some money to bring good luck. In fact, at first people did not give money but other symbolic gifts. Then, they give money. No matter how big or small the amount is, it has a symbolic meaning.

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