St John's Cathedral in Portsmouth celebrated the start of the Chinese (Lunar) New Year, the 'Year of the Dog', in grand style yesterday with a Mass 'packed to the rafters'. The celebrants were Canon David Hopgood and Fr Steven Restori. The Cathedral, decked in colourful banners and Chinese lanterns, was filled to capacity with many present wearing something red in recognition of the Chinese colour for good fortune, happiness and prosperity. The midday Mass was complemented by readings in Chinese and Chinese music under the direction of Sr Marguerite Wong. Chinese tradition came to the fore with the ritual presentation of tea and the decking of the altar prior to communion. Canon David said: "It is wonderful to see the multi-culturalism of our community brought so vividly to life." The festivities ended with the handing out to all present of traditional tokens of good will.
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