Visitors to Chinatown in Victoria on Sunday will be able to watch Chinese New Year celebrations for the first time since 2020.
The festivities, put on by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, will start at noon with members of the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club, the Chinese community, local politicians and VIPs that will participate in an offering ceremony.
“An offering ceremony to the heavens to thank him for the protection and for a bountiful 2023 year and health, prosperity and good luck to come,” Daniel Lowe, senior lion dancer and spokesperson for Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club said in an interview with CHEK News.
The celebrations are to celebrate the coming Year of the Rabbit, which is the fourth zodiac symbol that symbolizes luck and fertility with a close association to the moon, according to the University of Alberta Museums.
Starting around 12:15 p.m., the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club will be performing the lion dance starting at the Gates of Harmonious Interest to the Chinese Public School. Then two groups will break off and go into individual businesses and establishments to bless them until about 3 p.m.
Downtown road closures for Chinese NY celebration on Sunday. Event includes the Lion Dance Parade & Kung Fu demonstrations. The 500-block of Fisgard St will be closed from 9am-5pm with other intermittent road closures along parade route (1pm- 3pm).https://t.co/uQfp4fYmLq pic.twitter.com/9fXitaAFlR
— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) January 27, 2023
“We’re all excited to get back out there and have some fun and welcome everybody to spread our culture,” Lowe said.
Lowe says there will be about 90 people in the team, comprising of about 20 dancers, musicians, security and others.
Since it has been three years since the Chinese New Year celebrations were held in person in Victoria, Lowe recommends getting there early.
“Grab a bowl of noodles and dumplings, buns early, because everything starts at noon, and it will be pretty packed down there,” Lowe said. “We’re hoping, because it’s been a few years, that we’re going to see crowds like before, we’re going to be four or five deep in Chinatown. Maybe keep pets at home just because of the firecrackers and remember to dress warmer.”