NISGA’A NEW Year celebrations in Gingolx welcomed more than 1,000 people each of its two days to the delight of organizers.
Lavinia Clayton, one of several organizers, said more than 1,000 people took part in the celebration the first day and more than that were on hand the second day.
“I never dreamt of seeing that many people,” she said about the event Feb. 25 and 26.
“It was awesome.”
Hobiye’e, another name for Nisga’a New Year, marked the first event to take place in the new Gingolx Community Hall, which isn’t quite finished yet.
Things that remain to be done are to connect the two big pots in the kitchen, the stove and commercial dishwasher.
That didn’t stand in the way though as kitchen volunteers washed dishes by hand with the help of many ladies and the food was cooked at people’s homes, she said.
“It was really, really nice. The second day we had a tribal picnic and there was so much food,” she said.
“It was nice and the ending was really fantastic, really awesome. They had dimmed the lights and when the moon was coming down, it took awhile, but you could see it and it was really bright and so neat. It sounded like the people couldn’t stop drumming. It sounded unique with over 100 drummers with all four communities and two urban areas.”
A moon symbol is given from the host to the community that will hold the event next year so Gingolx handed over the moon to New Aiyansh.
The hall is on the waterfront so the people working in the kitchen, including Clayton, could see the Nass River and the ocean, said Clayton.
“And people were expecting the oolichans so there was quite a bit of sea life, seals, sealions and some people said they [saw] the killer whales,” said Clayton, adding that the oolichan did not appear.
Many people took time out to walk the sea wall as the weather wasn’t too cold, she said.
Hobiye’e visitors were billetted out to residents’ homes and the whole community took part, she said.
Dancers came from as far away as Gitsegucla, and Kitimat.
“I was surprised to see so many dancers. The gym was just packed,” said Clayton.
“It’s a really big thing for the Nisga’a Hobiye’e because of the oolichan season coming in and celebrating the great harvest,” she said, adding the oolichan will come in anytime now.