On the occasion of the Chinese New Year we met in the Hastalska center on Saturday, February 16, and we held a banquet to celebrate with more than 60 people. Helena Celisova, the director of social services in Prague 1, supported us and visited the banquet together with her husband.
From 9 am people were working to have things ready, most people preparing vegetables in the kitchen, others decorating the center. At 10 am an intensive started. Participants numbered 44 members and it was great to be practicing in harmony for the space the center offers.
Everybody was hungry when the banquet started and we were really fully enjoying delicious food, especially the Hastalska noodles. Members of the Prague Branch Council prepared a cultural program for everyone. We learned about how to prepare the banquet, what should not be missing out on the festive table, such as apples, tangerines, something gold, something red, and fish. We listened to a talk about the history of New Year celebrations in China and about the origin of the Lantern Festival. Frantisek Smejda told us a very funny story about the origin of Hastalska noodles and an even funnier story about shopping with Bernard Voyer without being able to speak English. A raffle was not missing and fortune this time chose men! A great experience was a musical performance of “Hastalska Chinese Folk Song and Dance Ensemble” with the song Gong Xi Gong Xi. Mrs. Celisova, our VIP guest, was impressed so much by the friendly people and pleasant atmosphere that she decided to become a member and start tai chi.
We arrived home with a good mood, gingerbread fish, and a gift of two coins in a red envelope. Thanks to all for a wonderful day.