With temperatures on the plus side, barely any snow in sight and the sun shining, hundreds of Montrealers gathered in the heart of Chinatown to celebrate the lunar new year.
“We have the parade, lion dance, dragon dance, we’re talking about drums, fashion shows, a bunch of things and we are expecting a lot of people,” said festival organizer YiFang Eva Hu.
This year marks the Year of the Wood Dragon.
“Wood Dragon represents creativity, represents prosperity, represents chance,” Hu said.
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She added they really focused on being as creative as possible so Montrealers could enjoy every aspect of the festivities.
“There are a bunch of installations around Chinatown in collaboration with Murale festival that shines the art of the community for the community,” Hu said.
Opening ceremonies included speeches from Montreal’s Chinese community and politicians at every level who say Montreal’s Chinatown is one of a kind.
“It’s the only francophone Chinatown in North America, which makes it extremely unique,” said Liberal MNA Jennifer Macaronne.
“Now that it’s been identified as a historical site it’s very important that we celebrate the culture and heritage that the community brings to Montreal and Quebec.”
The lunar new year festivities also promote the neighbourhood and help small businesses.
“There are so many businesses, restaurants who have special menus for lunar new year,” Hu said. “To get everyone to come here to explore, it it’s such an experience.”
The festival lasts through the weekend, but private events and celebrations will run for several weeks.
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