Ring in the Lunar New Year in Canada’s oldest Chinatown


WATCH: Victoria’s Chinatown will come alive with the sights and sounds of Chinese New Year as they welcome the Year of the Dog. Ceilidh Millar reports.

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, why not mark the Lunar New Year.

On Friday Victoria’s Chinatown on Fisgard Street came alive with the sights and sounds of the Chinese New Year.

At the Don Mee Seafood Restaurant, patrons were celebrating the Lunar New Year with family and friends over a traditional Chinese meal.

“We have a lot of history here,” said restaurant manager Ricky Yiau. “We’re very proud to still serve the city with authentic Chinese cuisine.”

Located in the heart of Chinatown, Don Mee has been serving traditional dishes and Dim Sum for more than 80 years.

They’re pulling out all the stops for a full house this weekend, which includes a special menu for Chinese New Year.

“We are serving dishes like Peking duck, crab and lobster,” Yiau explained. “This is the best time of year to showcase it.”

The Lunar New Year is traditionally a time to honour ancestors and wish good luck and fortune on family.

The two-week celebration kicked off last night in China marking the Year of the Dog.

The dog is one of 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac.

“The dog reminds us that you play hard but you also rest,” explained City of Victoria Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe, who has helped to organize some of the festivities taking place in Victoria.

“Also, the best way to start off the New Year is to give back to others.”

On Friday, members of the Victoria Chinatown Lioness club served a Chinese New Year meal to members of Our Place Society.

“It’s a really nice treat to have them come in and serve this wonderful meal,” said Grant McKenzie of Our Place Society. “It’s a real special treat because it’s a little bit different than what we normally do.”

“Chinese New Year is really about family and friends,” Thorton-Joe explained. “Most people will be with their families or traveling to where their families are.”

Victoria’s celebrations begin at noon on Sunday, Feb. 18 in Chinatown, where a ceremonial lion dance will kick-off the festivities.

Three new lions will be awakened with a special eye-dotting ceremony.

Click here to learn more about the upcoming festivities.



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