Daily Archives: December 31, 2005

Scottish Hogmanay New Year + Asian Canadian style = Gung Haggis Fat Choy



Scottish Hogmanay New Year + Asian Canadian style =  Gung Haggis Fat Choy

What better way to celebrate Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year tradition, than by releasing the 2006 Gung Haggis Fat Choy poster?

The origin of Gung Haggis Fat Choy
started when I was asked to participate in the 1993 Robbie Burns Day
celebration at Simon Fraser University.  In 1998, I decided to
host a dinner for 16 guests that blended Robbie Burns Day(January 25th)
with Chinese lunar New Year (late January to early February). 

The result has been a dinner event that has grown steadily to a 2005
dinner of 600 guests, a CBC television special, an annual poetry night
at the Vancouver Public Library, a recreation event at Simon Fraser
University…. and media stories around the world!


Hogmanay is the Scottish New Year's Eve, and it is celebrated on New Year's Eve with a Grand Dinner. It can be very similar to Chinese New Year's in many ways:


1) Make lots of noise. 
Chinese like to burn firecrackers, bang drums and pots to scare the
ghosts and bad spirits away.  Scots will fire off cannons, sound
sirens, bang pots and make lots of noise, I think just for the excuse
of making noise.

2) Pay off your debts. 
Chinese like to ensure that you start off the New Year with no debts
hanging onto your personal feng shui.  I think the Scots do the
same but especially to ensure that they aren't paying anymore interest.

3) Have lots of good food.  Eat lots and be merry.  Both Scots and Chinese enjoy eating, hosting their friends and visiting their friends.


4) Party on dude!  In
Asia, Chinese New Year celebrations will go on for days, lasting up to
a week!  Sort of like Boxing week sales in Canada.  In
Scotland, the Scots are proud partyers and are well known for making
parties last for days on end.

Come to think about it… the above traditions can be found in many
cultures… I guess the Scots and Chinese are more alike than different
with lots of other cultures too!

2006 Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Dinner event poster – designed by Jaime Griffiths and Carole Lee

2006 Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Dinner event poster – original design by Jaime Griffiths, updates by Carole Lee

It is Hogmanay – Scottish New Year and we are celebrating the release of the 2006 poster for….
Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.

The original design was by Jaime Griffiths who is an incredible
interactive multi-media artist.  She dances, she paints, she does
computer graphic design, she conceptualizes far ahead of
the curve.

Carole Lee made the 2006 updates.  She is the Art coordinator for Ricepaper Magazine.  She has attended the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner for the past two years, as a volunteer.


What:  Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner

When: 6pm, January 22, 2006,
            Sunday  Reception at 5:30pm

Where: Floata Restaurant
             #400 – 180 Keefer St.
             Vancouver Chinatown

Tickets: Firehall Arts Centre
              604-689-0926

Advance Premium price: $60 single / $600 per table.
includes wine and Ricepaper Magazine subscription

Advance Regular price: $50 single / $500 per table
includes Ricepaper Magazine subscription

After January 7th – Premium price $70 each / Regular price $60
each.  Children 13 and under 50% off (no Ricepaper subscription).

The origin of Gung Haggis Fat Choy
started when I was asked to participate in the 1993 Robbie Burns Day
celebration at Simon Fraser University.  In 1998, I decided to
host a dinner for 16 guests that blended Robbie Burns Day(January 25th)
with Chinese lunar New Year (late January to early February). 

The result has been a dinner event that has grown steadily to a 2005
dinner of 600 guests, a CBC television special, an annual poetry night
at the Vancouver Public Library, a recreation event at Simon Fraser
University…. and media stories around the world!


Hogmanay is the Scottish New Year's Eve, and it is celebrated on New Year's Eve with a Grand Dinner. It can be very similar to Chinese New Year's in many ways:


1) Make lots of noise. 
Chinese like to burn firecrackers, bang drums and pots to scare the
ghosts and bad spirits away.  Scots will fire off cannons, sound
sirens, bang pots and make lots of noise, I think just for the excuse
of making noise.

2) Pay off your debts. 
Chinese like to ensure that you start off the New Year with no debts
hanging onto your personal feng shui.  I think the Scots do the
same but especially to ensure that they aren't paying anymore interest.

3) Have lots of good food.  Eat lots and be merry.  Both Scots and Chinese enjoy eating, hosting their friends and visiting their friends.


4) Party on dude!  In
Asia, Chinese New Year celebrations will go on for days, lasting up to
a week!  Sort of like Boxing week sales in Canada.  In
Scotland, the Scots are proud partyers and are well known for making
parties last for days on end.

Come to think about it… the above traditions can be found in many
cultures… I guess the Scots and Chinese are more alike than different
with lots of other cultures too!

Hosted by Todd Wong and Prem Gill (City TV's multicultural director and host of Colour TV)



Special performing guests are: 

Rick Scott and Harry Wong, creators of “5 Elements” children's cd and show – featured at Vancouver International Children's Festival in 2004

Joy Kogawa O.C.
Award winning author and poet, of Obasan (Vancouver Public Library's
2005 choice for One Book One Vancouver) and Naomi's Road (Vancouver
Opera's production for Opera in the Schools)

Joe McDonald & Brave Waves
Bagpiper, band leader, combining traditional scots, gaelic, celtic and
Canadian songs with Asian and South Asian music and instruments.

La La
Exciting blend of contemporary soul and hip hop music with Asian roots and traditional Canadian songs.

Sean Gunn
Singer /Songwriter – Head Tax Redress activist and composer of “The Head Tax Blues”

Jeff Chiba Stearns
Classical Animator – creator of award winning animated film “What Are You Anyways?”

The Shirleys
Seven sassy soulful females singing accapella songs of protest and lullabyes.