There's a lot to talk about, so let's dive right in and look at celebrations across Canada and the States! Though the traditions we have talked about over the past week are no less important to the various diaspora communities in North America, the holiday does not have the same legal protections it does elsewhere, so traveling and celebrations are limited even under normal circumstances.
Many of the celebrations in Canada this year have been cancelled, or scaled down, due to COVID. Many families have been unable to reunite, but have still tried to continue their traditions at home wherever possible. In Toronto and Vancouver, public celebrations will still continue for the next two weeks with remote programs, performances, and cultural . Check out this great article for more information on how you can join in the fun this weekend (most of these start on Saturday, February 5th, so mark your calendars!): https://dailyhive.com/toronto/lunar-new-year-toronto. If you're on the west coast, check out this website for information about online and remote events in Vancouver this weekend: https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/lunar-new-year-events-metro-vancouver. However, barring any changes, the Buddhist International Temple in Richmond should be open to everyone who wishes to offer their prayers there during the Spring Festival, so please check it out!
For those down south in the United States, I hope you caught the parades in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Chicago, and Honolulu! While many cities will have already finished their celebrations on the first night, there's still some fun events to look forward to this weekend!
In Honolulu, there are fireworks and special museum exhibits open in celebration of the Lunar New Year this weekend, and performances will be held all day this Saturday. In New York much of the celebrations have already finished, but there are festival games planned for the weekend, several storytelling events for children at libraries across the city (all about the history and legends around Lunar New Year and its traditions in different countries), and a concert by the world-famous New York Philharmonic. San Francisco also boasts a concert this weekend, as well as a beauty pageant, and purportedly the biggest Lunar New Year float parade in North America, scheduled for February 19th, the weekend after the Lantern Festival. Boston's parade is scheduled for February 13th (weather permitting), with special celebrations for Tếtplanned to be celebrated on February 6th this year (check out the link for some great food recommendations around Lunar New Year too). Chicago's Chinatown would like to give San Francisco a run for their money with their own floats and marching bands, also scheduled for Sunday, February 13th; like Boston, Chicago has separate celebrations for Tết this Saturday, February 5th.
Obviously, this is far from a complete list of all the celebrations across North America (I didn't even have a chance to talk about the Lunar New Year festivals in Mexico!), so please drop us a comment at the bottom of this article, or on our social media, to tell us about Lunar New Year celebrations in your area! We'd love to hear from you.
PS - and of course, please be safe and respect all social distancing and COVID guidelines in your province, state, or city. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!
by S. Sifton
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