Persistent snow and rain did nothing to dampen the Lunar New Year spirit in Chinatown on the weekend.
The Lunar New Year fell on Friday but the celebrations of food, song and dance extended through the weekend.
The core of the festivities took place at Dragon City Mall and Chinatown Centre.
Construction worker Gordy Leong puts aside his hard hat for a different role Saturday: the group’s flag-bearer. Despite the snow and rain, he was all smiles as he carried a flagpole almost twice his height and trudged on through the slush, leading the group to each store along Spadina Avenue. Leong said it takes them over four hours to complete their journey through Chinatown.
The lion reaches for a red packet, bundled in lettuce leaves, hanging in front of King’s Noodles Restaurant. The leaves were later cast out by the dancers to symbolize the spreading of wealth. The red packet, which contains money, is a symbol of the Lunar New Year and its contents are kept by the group as a donation.
Torontonians brave the inclement weather to watch the lion dance parade.
Patrick Sun, 78, and Huang Zi Heng, 74, show off their moves at Dragon City Mall at Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street West. The two friends have been dance partners for over 10 years. ‘I love it,’ Sun said in Cantonese. ‘It’s also important to stay active.’
The Qi Le She Orchestra perform traditional Chinese songs at Dragon City Mall before a later performance at Chinatown Centre. The eight-piece band practice at Long Gang Gong She, a community centre in the Spadina and Dundas area.
A young girl, dressed in a variation of the traditional Chinese qipao, watches the festivities at the mall.
Zhao cai mao (meaning cat that brings fortune) statues are a common sight in Chinatown stores selling Lunar New Year decorations. The little porcelain ornaments can typically be seen guarding the entrances of Chinese shop houses and are believed to usher in fortune and ward off evil.
A shopper takes a look at hanging ornaments and pendants. Chinatown is bathed in red and gold decorations, especially during this season, as the two colours are said to be auspicious.
The Hung Moon lion dance troupe performs in front of HSBC outside Chinatown Centre near Spadina Avenue and Sullivan Street. The group consists of volunteers ranging from elementary school students to adults.