Chinese light up for Lantern Festival
By Louis B Homer
Trinidad Express Newspapers
November 2012 will be remembered as “the month of lights and lanterns”.
Early November, Christians celebrated the feast of All Saints with lighted candles, then came Divali, the Hindu festival of lights, celebrated with thou- sands of lit deyas, and last Friday the Chinese community celebrated the Lantern Festival with a display of some 200 Chinese lanterns that changed the entire surroundings at the Chinese Association headquarters at St Ann’s.
The opening ceremony, which was attended by a gathering of local Chinese families and their friends, was described by Clyde Allum, president of the association, as “a work of art produced by a group of young Trinidad Chinese and their friends”.
On hand to declare the Lantern Festival open was Yang Youming Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, who had returned from China the night before to be present at the annual spectacle.
Speaking at the opening the Ambassador said the object of the festival is to broaden the knowledge of Chinese culture in Trinidad, a country which is rich in the promotion of cultural events from diverse communities. “This display demonstrates the openness of multiculturalism in Trinidad and Tobago and an opportunity to know more of the rich culture of China.”
Yang said since the bicentennial celebration of the arrival of Chinese immigrants to Trinidad, the Embassy has been involved with a number of Chinese cultural activities including the Dragon Boat Race, steelband, dance and language studies at the UWI.
“For the future the Embassy will focus on the social and economic development of the local Chinese community,” said Yang.
Allum said the display will run for one week and special programmes have been put in place for schoolchildren. The festival will end on November 24, when some 2,000 wish lanterns will be displayed at Pier 2, Chaguaramas.