Friday, February 11, 2011

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

The world is celebrating Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year.

The new year, which is the year of the Rabbit this year, begain on February 3.  The festivities last for a couple of weeks.  On Saturday, we were on our way to Capilano Regional Park for a hike and spotted a Chinese lion and entourage on East Hastings, so we stopped to get a closer look.

The next day was the big parade in Chinatown.  Before looking at the pictures below, you should really read Hannah's blogpost describing the festivities.  Click here.

Ellie and Sasha got dressed up for the event.  Sasha wore the Chinese outfit that I bought for her at last year's parade.  Yes, I've been here for over a year now.

Despite the rain, the crowd was large.  50,000 large.

The parade started off with some Chinese veterans . . .

and strangely, some bagpipes.  Not sure what that has to do with Chinese New Year, but every parade has to have bagpipes, right Mom?  What's that joke you like about bagpipes again?  Oh yeah - Q: What do you call a thousand bagpipes at the bottom of the ocean?   A:  A good start.

Then the Chinese part of the parade seemed to take off . . .

Since this is the year of the Rabbit, there were lots of rabbits . . .

. . . even rabbits playing the Sousaphone.

And of course there were dragons . . .

. . . and people handing out Lai Shi (red envelopes).  Notice that Karla's hand is quick to grab the Lai Shi from the CBC girl.

People are crazy for the Lai Shi, reaching around, and over and basically right through us.

People aren't afraid to "get a little closer" to see better and get a better shot at some Lai Shi.  This guy basically had his chin on Karla's shoulder.

The firecrackers were very, very loud.  But good fun for the kids.  Looks like a few were a bit scared though.

Of course there were lots of colourful Chinese lions in the parade . . .

. . . and various dance troupes, starting with the very young . . .

to the very old . . .

There was a huge Chinese "God of Fortune", with a guy on stilts inside the costume.

We didn't see a lot of floats, like in a typical North American parade, but there was one:

The parade was so long, we actually didn't stay for the whole thing.  I guess Karla got tired of the guy's chin on her shoulder, so we went inside.  Even with the parade still happening outside, it was crazy busy inside.

We bought a few trinkets at this colourful booth,

and then bought the girls each a Chinese jacket to remember the day by.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a great experience!
    Definitely a few differences from the Harvest Festival parade. But didn't you miss all of the farm equipment?