It was a damp start to the Year of the Monkey, but plenty of people braved the rain to catch a glimpse of Vancovuer’s 43rd annual Chinatown Spring Festival Parade.
The event draws thousands from around the Lower Mainland, and has grown steadily more multicultural as the years go by.
However turnout fell well short of the 100,000 organizers had hoped would pack the streets.
The event features colourful costumes, dancing, drums, music, martial arts displays, and of course, lion dancers.
Jun Ing, chief coordinator of the parade, says it has grown to be one of the city’s premier cultural events.
“The city takes a lot of pride in this, and rightfully so. Because we know from all of the emails that we’re getting that we’re talking about a lot of out of town tourists to the city and to the event. And some people are saying that this event now is the larges Lunar Newyear celebration in North America. And so obviously this puts Vancouver right in the spotlight,” he told Ian Power on the Weekend Afternoon Show.
And this year, the festival was salted with a little bit of extra mischievousness – stemming from the astrological sign of the monkey (or fire monkey, when you factor in the elements of the Chinese calendar)
“The monkey is smart, it’s naughty sometimes, it’s adventurous and sometimes gets itself into a little bit of trouble,” says Ing.
He says that spirit was on display at the parade, in the form of monkey costumes – but will also play out all year when it comes to finances and fortune.
And if you want to come out on top this year?
“You’ll have to outsmart that fire monkey.”