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

UPDATED 2 Semi rollover on Hwy#2 causes traffic detour; one lane open

UPDATED 2 More exclusive photos of semi rollover diesel clean-up

Savage makes first court appearance on murder charges

Charged in connection with Stettler murder

Husband’s treasure may be wife’s trash

Toddler can act like a Tasmanian Devil, cartoon-style

Millet council waives fees for paint party

Request granted for Little PIPs playgroup Mar. 28

Wetaskiwin city council hears FCSS plays big role locally

FCSS director Linda Mueller describes programs for council Mar. 26

Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

The suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Monday is a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian

NAFTA talks hold Foreign Affairs Minister in Washington, substitute heads to NATO summit

NAFTA talks keeping Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, sends substitute to NATO summit

Britain gives long-lost Franklin expedition ships to Canada, Inuit

Deeds to HMS Erebus and HMS Terror signed over to Canada and Inuit Heritage Trust

Grief over deadly Toronto van attack sinks in

Three days after rampage, people still gathering at memorial to lay flowers and honour victims

Liberals urged to tax e-commerce services like Netflix

Trudeau has been adamant that his government wouldn’t increase taxes on online subscriptions

Cartoonist captures public mood following Toronto, Humboldt tragedies

Cartoonist said he was trying to find a bit of positivity with an image that has garnered attention

Bill Cosby guilty in sexual assault case

Comedian convicted of drugging and molesting a woman

Most Read