Luminaria Wetaskiwin was held Jan. 1 at the Ashoro Friendship Park. Photo by Amelia Naismith

Luminaria brings a touch of Japan to the Wetaskiwin new year

Wetaskiwin honours Ashoro students in New Years Day celebration

Wetaskiwin’s sister city Ashoro’s travelling students stayed in the central Alberta community in early fall 2017, but their memory still played a role in the inaugural Luminaria Wetaskiwin event, held Jan. 1 to help celebrate the new year.

Luminaria Wetaskiwin took place in Wetaskiwin’s Ashoro Friendship Park, and featured festive hot chocolate, kids’ games, fire pits, a light display and Luminaria bags — placed in memory for the Japanese students.

The event was a joint venture between the Wetaskiwin-Ashoro Friendship Society and the Wetaskiwin Arts and Music Festival Society.

“We would love to see an annual Luminaria,” said Sandra Kim, secretary of the Wetaskiwin-Ashoro Friendship Society.

Greg Felske, president of the Wetaskiwin-Ashoro Friendship Society, says the venture was held in celebration of both the new year and the Ashoro students, as the New Year’s holiday is an important time in Japan.

“New Years is probably one of the biggest Japanese celebrations,” said Kim. It is a time when people visit with family and friends.

“The purpose of Luminaria is to bring people together. It’s about starting off the new year fresh with family and friends,” Kim added.

Felske says home-stay families were invited to attend the celebration, and purchase lit Luminaria bags to be placed for the students.

The proceeds from the Luminaria bag fundraiser will go to the Wetaskiwin-Ashoro Friendship Society.

Along with recognizing New Years the Ashoro students, Wetaskiwin Arts and Musical Festival Society president Susan Kokas says the event is also a great way to utilize the park and showcase the community.

One of the home-stay families in attendance was the Fletts family. For Niki Flett, participating for the first time as a home-stay family had many close ties with her past.

“I had actually lived abroad for many years in Asia,” said Flett, who has a strong interest in Japan and Asian culture.

amelia.naismith@pipestoneflyer.ca

Just Posted

Mentally healthy workplaces boost bottom line: speaker

Robert Manolson says employees looking for kinder workplaces

Wetaskiwin reader horrified at Trudeau’s weakness

Trudeau ignores child murderer’s transfer: writer

Residents not happy with county order to remove approach

County of Wetaskiwin says approach unapproved, dangerous

Leftover pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin cake recipe complete with icing

Ponoka County fire crews handle second baler fire in 12 hours

Fire crews handled a baler fire just west of Gull Lake

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

Most Read