Guests enjoy the talents of Annie Guo on the Guzheng at Wednesday’s Chinese New Year celebration dinner, held at the Imperial Garden in South Surrey. (Theresa Zhang photo)

Year of the Rat celebrated by South Surrey/White Rock business community

Winter weather didn't dissuade new-year event guests

Members of the Semiahmoo Peninsula’s business community celebrated the Lunar New Year with dinner, live music and mingling, during an event Wednesday in South Surrey.

The evening affair to welcome the Year of the Rat included performances by Annie Guo on the Guzheng (a Chinese zither), Jan Walls with bamboo clappers and Marc Burchell, who played a 12-string guitar and sang a ballad.

It was “a tremendous success,” said Burchell, who is vice-president of the Surrey-White Rock Community Engagement Society.

The society co-hosted the event – held at Imperial Garden Chinese Cuisine – with the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce.

READ MORE: Chamber welcomes Chinese New Year

Burchell noted the winter weather that wreaked havoc on many Lower Mainland roads Wednesday did little to dampen enthusiasm for the celebration – most of 130 guests who had registered were able to attend.

Those who did were encouraged to don traditional Chinese formal wear or the colour red, and many got into the spirit.

Chinese New Year officially begins on Jan. 25. The rat is the first zodiac symbol in the Chinese calendar, and represents a new beginning, wealth and surplus, according to an event poster. People born in the Year of the Rat include those with birthday in 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936 and 1924.

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