Cantonese restaurant

Photos: Lunar New Year celebrated with Chinatown lion dance

Lion dance performers from the Jing Wo Cultural Association 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 booming drums and the applause of hundreds of Calgarians, Sunday’s lion dance brought joy and probably some prosperity to Chinatown.

The lion dance was organized by artists and martial arts musicians from the Jing Wo Cultural Association, and was attended by local dignitaries and politicians.

Lion dances are a traditional way to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year. And traditions such as the distribution of red envelopes with money and the acrobatic eating of green vegetables are symbolic of bestowing wealth and prosperity on community members.

Jing Wo organized the event in association with the Chinatown BIA and visited local businesses and restaurants. The BIA also has five ice sculptures installed in Chinatown that visitors can view as part of Lunar New Year celebrations.

Several hundred Calgarians attended 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 Association bring a drum to the Chinese Cultural Center Cuisine restaurant for the association’s lion dance in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Ward 7 Councilor Terry Wong hands 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 red envelope donation for the New Year represents the granting of prosperity and happiness to the recipient. . ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
An elderly person gives a red envelope to one of the lion dance performers of the Jing Wo Cultural Association in Chinatown on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. The gift of red envelopes for the New Year represents the bestowal of prosperity and happiness to the recipient. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
An elderly person touches the lion’s frills during the lion dance performance in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
A pair of children imitate lion dance performers along 2nd Avenue SE in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
A pair of performers from the Jing Wo Cultural Association raise their heads in their lion dance costumes for a moment to coordinate entry into IW Insurance and Financial Services in Chinatown on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. Local businesses coordinated with the Chinatown BIA for artists to visit their shops and restaurants. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Lion dance performers from the Jing Wo Cultural Association 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 lion dance performer from the Jing Wo Cultural Association grabs lettuce from a hook outside the Great Taste Chinese restaurant in Chinatown on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. Traditionally, performers ask the lion to eat the lettuce, then to throw lettuce to be caught, to symbolize wealth and prosperity for those who catch the pieces. The word lettuce in Cantonese sounds phonetically like the word fortune. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
A lion dance performer throws lettuce at the owner of Forget Me Not Flowers in Chinatown on Sunday, Feb. 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 lion dance performers entertain customers at Chong Fat Food in Chinatown on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Hundreds of Calgarians watched and photographed the Chinese New Year Lion Dance celebration in Chinatown on Sunday, February 6, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY