Ruth writes: It’s a big mystery to me. Why did the July 23 Star give almost full-page, page three, front-section prominence to a Hindu chariot festival in Quebec, when we have our own amazing festivals in Toronto? Coming up on July 25 about 9am with a chariot circling its temple around 11 will be one at the Sri Varasiththi Vinaayagar Temple, 3025 Kennedy Road #10, Scarborough. A second festival will be on August 1 and August 2 at the Sri Ayyappan Temple, 635 Middlefield Rd. (north of Finch). Not sure what time you can see the skewers.
Yes, some worshipers will have skewers stuck through their cheeks and hooks through their backs as they dangles from a crane. And these men or their friends can explain why in English, and give you food for thought about Lent and Ramadan.
Our Blogs on these festivals in 2013 and 2011 are at:
https://www.torontomulticulturalcalendar.com/2013/07/26/402-report-and-video-on-hindu-tamil-chariot-festival-2013/ and https://www.torontomulticulturalcalendar.com/2011/08/02/sri-lankan-tamil-chariot-festival-a-report/ .
Panamania isn’t the only game in town when it comes to our many multicultural festivals. Don’t forget its Aboriginal Pavilion at Fort York National Historic Site. I couldn’t find detailed information alas on the Panamania site, who knows why. It’s at http://www.alppavilion.ca/ with daily schedule at: http://www.alppavilion.ca/events.html. Unfortunately crowds have been sparse in spite of such draws as A Tribe Called Red, some interesting exhibits and unusual vendors. It’s part of Planet IndigenUS 2015 and the Woodland Centre. Some of Planet IndigenUS will be at Harbourfront July 31 to August 9 during which Buffy Sainte-Marie will be singing in Brantford!! http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/whatson/today.cfm?discipline_id=&mode=day&&month=07&year=2015&day=31&week=31&searchvenue=
And except for Buffy and the official opening, most of the events are free!
This weekend there’s also Persian Family Day in Mel Lastman Square. 12pm-10pm. July 25. I’ve always enjoyed going there – not just for the ice cream but the opportunity to talk with Iranians. How do they feel about Obama’s Iranian Nuclear Deal and how does it and the lifting of sanctions affect Toronto citizens? And then there’s the experience of seven-year old Iranian Canadians insisting they are Canadians and not Iranians, translating for their parents from Farsee into English. See: http://www.persianfamilyday.com/visitor_info.php?type=date.
And we must mention the big, big Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival – www.torontocaribbeancarnival.com. The parade is on August 1st, 9:30am–9pm. You don’t have to stand along the route for hours to watch. Tickets are $10 to $20 for seats at Exhibition Place and they are worth every cent. http://www.torontocaribbeancarnival.com/events.html#grand_parade .
I hope you’ve been seeing some of the Caribbean Carnival’s other free events, especially the amazing Junior Carnival, another one of my favourites.
There’s just too much going on. it’s so hard to choose how to spend your time. I’m sorry I can’t list all our exciting events. Please let us know your experiences in multicultural Toronto. Click on: “Responses” below.