Festivities started with the traditional candle lighting ceremony at 9h30 in the morning followed by the official opening. The mentor of Nan Hua Temple, Venerable Yi Chun, provided some insight into what we can expect from the Year of the Pig. She also mentioned that us humans, use pigs for multiple reasons and that we should rather become vegetarian and live a pure life. “The founder of Nan Hua Temple and the founding Chairman of the Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA), Grand Master Ysing Yun, age 94 this year, instructed me to wish you a year always well-rounded and be auspicious. May everything go well with you in the Year of the Pig. The pig represents courage, loyalty, blessing, appreciation and wealth. When we were young, we were given piggy banks where we can save our pocket money. When it filled up, we were overjoyed with the little fortune we accumulated. I sincerely hope that in this new year, we can all learn to grow and manage our wealth properly. Learn to express gratitude to others and to cherish what we already have in life. ” said Venerable Yi Chun.
Vicki Jacob visited this year and reported, “This was my fourth visit to the Nan Hua Temple to celebrate the Chinese New Year and each year it gets better and better. I loved seeing so many different cultures interacting with one another in harmony. I joined the introduction to meditation class for the first time and found it immensely relaxing. Best of all was the amazing variety of food stalls, all vegetarian, which was excellent for me.”
VIPs present included the Abbot of Nan Hua Temple, Venerable Hui Fang, who led the proceedings; the representative of the Taipei Liaison Office in South Africa, Mr Matthew W Chou and Mrs Grace Chou; Sino South Africa Chamber of Commerce president, Mr Robin Xu and Mrs Susan Sun; director of the BLIA World Headquarters, Mrs Sherry Chen; The Whole Africa Overseas Chinese Peaceful Reunification Promotion Association president, Mr Xin-Tsu Lee and Mrs Wenxin Xu; Senior Commissioner of Overseas Chinese Affair Commission, Mr Vincent Lin; First Secretary Taipei Liaison Office in South Africa, Mr Chia-Lun Wang; South Africa-China Shenzhen general chamber of commerce president, Mr Chan Wan Sang and Mrs Meilian Chan; Southern African Taiwanese Ha-Ga Association, Mr Nick Lo; Chairlady of Global Federation of Chinese Businesses Women Southern Africa Chapter, Mrs Pamela Yang; The African Federation of Chinese Women in Commerce and Industry, Mrs Char-Main Chung; Gauteng Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce Honourable Chairperson Mr John Chung; Buddhist Companion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation regional director of Johannesburg Chapter , Mr Fu-Lai Huang; Chinese Women Association in South Africa, Mrs Oscar Liao; Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu-Chi Foundation senior volunteer, Ming Hui Chang; Pretoria Culture and Education Foundation, Mr Peter Chen and Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu-Chi Foundation senior volunteer, Mr Jake Shih.
An array of cultural festivities took place during the celebrations including the traditional Dragon and Lion dances, Spanish and Scottish dancing, Nan Hua Temple Performing Arts Group Drumming, martial arts and various other musical performances to the delight of young and old.
A myriad of cultural food and craft stalls offered not only sustenance but a unique taste sensation with sumptuous vegetarian faire for sale.
There were several other inspiring events for all to enjoy including a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and meditation.
Children’s entertainment included a super slide, peddle car racing and loads of entertainment for including lantern and face painting and balloon art.
We wish you a very successful Year of the Pig and hope to see you at the 2020 Chinese New Festival!