Winnipeg’s Chinatown rings in Lunar New Year in person for first time since pandemic

Winnipeg’s Chinatown is ringing in the Lunar New Year and celebrations are back in person for the first time since the pandemic, making the day much more special.

And one of the celebrations being brought back is the Chinese lion dance, which is said to scare away evil spirits and bring good luck and prosperity to the New Year.

Flying Lion Dance Troupe brought smiles at a Chinatown supermarket Sunday morning, where they stopped by shops and showered them with lettuce, signifying wealth and prosperity.

“It’s great to really see the reactions of the audience,” said Bernard Phanthavong, Flying Lion Dance Troupe President.

Click to play video: 'Lunar New Year events in Winnipeg'

Lunar New Year events in Winnipeg

Additionally, a table with burning incense and packed with food, from roast pork to sesame balls, was laid out to pay respects to ancestors.

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“We do show respect to our ancestors. So we do offer different fruits or foods as well as a beverage to the ancestors,” said Phanthavong.

“A big part is really family gathering. So food is a huge part. So sharing of different foods and whatnot.”

And just over a block away, people lined up to get a table inside a crowded Kum Koon Garden to feast on Dim Sum, a meal of small plates including dumplings.

Read more: Lunar New Year: Chinese pray for health amid rising COVID-19 deaths

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And for owner Geoffrey Young, who’s been running the restaurant for more than 40 years, the New Year celebrations bring optimism after a tough few years.

“Today is a special day. They all like to come together with the family.”

This year is the Year of the Rabbit, which is said to mean a peaceful year.

“A year of lots of energetic, and I hope this will be a year of health, good health,” Young said.

With files from Global’s Rosanna Hempel

Click to play video: 'Celebrating Lunar New Year in Winnipeg'

Celebrating Lunar New Year in Winnipeg

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