PEI

Island's Chinese community celebrates the Year of the Pig

The Year of the Pig officially begins on February 5, and the Island's Chinese community has been preparing for the Lunar New Year.

'I think this is the most important thing for Chinese families'

The Year of the Pig signals a more relaxed time ahead, "Not busy like a monkey or a cow year. Everybody can be a little bit relaxed," says, Richard Yu, owner of Topfresh Asian grocery in Charlottetown.

The Year of the Pig officially begins on February 5, and the Island's Chinese community has been preparing for the Lunar New Year. 

The 5th marks the start of the Spring Festival, a 15-day event celebrated with traditional foods — a time for families to come together and enjoy a feast.

"I think this is the most important thing for Chinese families," said Richard Yu, owner of Topfresh Asian grocery in Charlottetown.

Keeping traditions alive on the Island

The Year of the Pig signals a more relaxed time ahead, 'Not busy like a monkey or a cow year. Everybody can be a little bit relaxed,' says Richard Yu, owner of Topfresh Asian grocery in Charlottetown. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

Although some of Yu's traditions have changed since his move to the Island about four years ago — spending time with family and sharing a large feast have remained the same.

Childhood memories of family and close friends coming together in China, where he grew up — motivate him to keep traditions alive.

Preparations for the big feast make it quite a busy time, Yu said.

But the Year of the Pig signals a more relaxed year ahead, "Not busy like a monkey or a cow year. Everybody can be a little bit relaxed," Yu said.

For Ken Lin, who works at Leezen in Charlottetown, the Lunar New Year is an opportunity to reflect.

'Have that very important meal'

For Ken Lin, who works at Leezen in Charlottetown, the Lunar New Year is an opportunity to reflect. (Isabella Zavarise)

"This would be a good time to take a look at the past year for the good things that happened or some of the things I need to improve on and some of the goals for the future," Lin said.

To get into the spirit of the Lunar New Year, Lin who is originally from Taiwan and made the move to the Island in 2017, encourages Islanders to wear the colour red, which symbolizes good luck and good fortune in Chinese tradition.

But as with Yu, the Lunar New Year is all about family for Lin.

"If there are family members living in some other city or another place they try to make it work, they all try to gather together and have that very important meal," he said.

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With files by Isabella Zavarise

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