Photos: Lunar New Year celebrated with Chinatown lion dance

Jing Wo Cultural Assoication lion dance performers interact with children in the crowd during the Lunar New Year celebration in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

With thundering drums, and the applause of hundreds of Calgarians, Sunday’s lion dance brought joy and probably a little prosperity to Chinatown.

The lion dance was put on by Jing Wo Cultural Association martial arts performers and musicians, and was well attended by local dignitaries and politicians.

Lion dances are a traditional way to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year. And traditions such as giving out red envelopes with money, and the acrobatic eating of the greens are symbolic of granting wealth and prosperity to community members.

Jing Wo held the event in association with the Chinatown BIA, and visited local businesses and restaurants. The BIA also has five ice sculptures setup throughout Chinatown for visitors to see as part of the Lunar New Year celebrations.

Many hundreds of Calgarians were present at the Chinese Cultural Association for the start of the Jing Wo lion dance in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Members of the Jing Wo Cultural Assocation bring a drum into the Chinese Cultural Centre Cuisine restaurant for the association’s lion dance in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Ward 7 Councillor Terry Wong gives a red envelope to a member of the public during the Jing Wo Cultural Association lion dance in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. The giving of red envelopes for the new year represents bestowing prosperity and happiness on the recipient. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
A senior citizen gives a red envelope to one of the Jing Wo Cultural Association lion dance performers in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. The giving of red envelopes for the new year represents bestowing prosperity and happiness on the recipient. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
A senior citizen touches the frills of the lion during the lion dance performance in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
A pair of children imitate the lion dance performers along 2 Avenue SE in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
A pair of Jing Wo Cultural Association performers lift the head of their lion dance costume for a moment to coordinate entering into I.W. Insurance and Financial Services in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. Local businesses coordinated with the Chinatown BIA to have the performers visit their shops and restaurants. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Jing Wo Cultural Assoication lion dance performers interact with children in the crowd during the Lunar New Year celebration in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
A Jing Wo Cultural Association lion dance performer grabs the lettuce from a hook outside of Great Taste Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. Traditionally performers will have the lion eat the lettuce, and then throw the lettuce back out to be caught, to symbolize wealth and prosperity for those who catch the pieces. The word for lettuce in Cantonese phonetically sounds like the word for fortune. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
A lion dance performer throws out lettuce to the proprietor of Forget Me Not Flowers in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Drummers and cymbalists keep time for the lion dance at the Far East Mall in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
A child watches as lion dance performers entertain patrons of Chong Fat Food in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Hundreds of Calgarians watched, and photographed, the lion dance celebration of the Chinese New Year in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

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