January 23 marked the start of the Lunar New Year and celebrations were held throughout YVR to welcome the Year of the Dragon. Perhaps one of the most recognized images in Chinese culture, the Dragon is widely considered the luckiest year in the Chinese Zodiac, symbolizing power, strength and good luck.
Following a traditional welcome ceremony with airport representatives, a traditional Lion Dance was performed in front of the Haida Gwaii, Spirit of the Jade Canoe. The Lion Dance - believed to bring good luck and scare away evil spirits – is danced to the beat of drums, gongs and cymbals. Dressed in colourful, eye-catching costumes, the lions bring their good luck to everyone they meet.
Five lions danced from the International to the Domestic terminal, visiting some of YVR’s shops and restaurants, with some businesses adorned with heads of lettuce. As part of traditional Lion Dances, businesses will hang a head of lettuce with a red envelope inside for the lion. The lion will reach to eat the money and scatter the lettuce leaves to spread good luck.
Aldeasa, YVR’s duty-free operator, joined YVR in celebrating the Year of the Dragon by offering passengers red envelopes filled with chocolate coins. Red envelopes containing lucky money is often given at family gatherings throughout the Lunar New Year. As well, the duty-free stores showcased Lunar New Year decorations and offered special New Year products including a Swarovski limited-edition crystal dragon statue.
The festivities continued after security in the International Terminal with a bamboo archway adorned in red and gold decorations, in addition to hanging banners and red envelopes decorating trees in the food court area. Red is the dominant colour during the Lunar New Year as it symbolizes good fortune, joy and happiness as well as fire which is thought to drive away bad luck.
Gung Hay Fat Choy!