The traditional Lion Dance commences with a vibrant orange dragon displaying the vibrant Chinese culture.

Lunar New Year prolonged with festivities

Scarborough YMCA opens its doors to a post-Lunar New Year celebration

Although the Lunar New Year is nearing its end, the Scarborough YMCA wanted to prolong the festivities with its first large celebration of Lunar New Year.

The event was held on Feb. 9 at the Scarborough YMCA at 230 Town Centre Ct. on McCowan Rd and Ellesmere Ave., home to a large Chinese community, was the centre of entertainment for a large Lunar New Year’s celebration in its gymnasium lon the second floor.

“We have a large Asian community here in the Scarborough YMCA, so we wanted to celebrate them,” said Beth Morgan, general manager of the Scarborough YMCA “It’s also a great opportunity to open our doors and welcome other people in and for them to see what Scarborough YMCA has to offer.”

Festivities included games and prizes, food, traditional Chinese music, and demonstrations from the YMCA’s Tai-Chi group and Karate Club and Shaolin Kungfu.

The feature performance, however, was the Lion Dance, which allowed the audience of all backgrounds to experience the culture and its positive message.

“The Lunar New Year has been about giving out positive energy and we have a lot of activities that were planned for that in this event,” Morgan said.

Being the first large-scale Lunar New Year celebration within the Scarborough YMCA, the preparation was met with a positive reaction, with 50 volunteers participating in all aspects, as well as sponsors, willing to help out.

“We’ve done it on the smaller scale before [Lunar New Year],” Morgan said. “We used to have it in the lobby with a couple of performances, but this is the first time we’ve done it on a large scale and we’ve advertised externally and brought in sponsorship and done a whole day affair.”

The celebration received positive reactions even from those who are not of Asian decent.

“I definitely enjoyed watching the performances and demonstrations,” said Chris Perez, a viewer and YMCA member, one of the hundreds of people that came to support the festivities. “Watching the Karate School and Lion dance performance really made me appreciate the culture for what it is.”