57. How Will You Celebrate?

Which Chinese New Year’s celebration is meant for you? Let me know if you’re doing something interesting.

If you have small children, the public libraries have attractive programs for them. See Blog 53. “Lions in Toronto Streets” below.

If you want to start the New Year off at a fabulous charity banquet, there’s the Dragon Ball where you can eat for only $400-$550 with the profits going to the Yee Hong Foundation. Yee Hong operates a “caring community for seniors.” It’s a reliable charity. My mother lived there. See http://www.yeehong.com/and http://yeehongdragonball.org/gala.php. There are cheaper places to indulge too.  A banquet is an important part of the event.

If you want a real Chinese folk experience, you can follow a dancing lion around a Chinatown, also on Blog 53 and on www.TorontoMulticulturalCalendar.com. Look at February 3 to 6. Your kids might like this too as you invade grocery stores and restaurants. Your kids will love the astonished looks on the faces of the non-Chinese customers.

As for me, I was brought up Chinese, and lived in Toronto’s Dundas-Elizabeth Chinatown for three years. The drums of the Lion Dance are in my blood and I’ve seen many such dances in China and Hong Kong, too. So I’m headed out to see who’s got the best dancing lions in Toronto – besides my late Uncle Jimmy’s group.  I’ll try to be objective. Honest.

I love the lion dance.

I’m also hoping to go to an amateur celebration at the Oriole Community Centre. It’s put on by a group of Mandarin-speaking seniors. It will have some Chinese opera, traditional Chinese dancing, instrumentals, and martial arts. They expect a local politician and Chinese television journalists to show up too.

These performances will not be put on by a mall to attract customers. It will be a real celebration from the hearts of home-sick seniors. Some of them will speak a little English. It’s at 2975 Don Mills Road. Multipurpose Room B. 9:30am-12:30pm. Thursday, Feb. 3 on the actual day. Tel. 416-395-6680. You can practice your Mandarin there, too.

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