Festivities around Richmond mark Year of Horse

Visitors to Lingyen Mountain Temple on No. 5 Road in Richmond mark the start of the Lunar New Year Friday morning. - Martin van den Hemel photo
Visitors to Lingyen Mountain Temple on No. 5 Road in Richmond mark the start of the Lunar New Year Friday morning.
— image credit: Martin van den Hemel photo

Chinese New Year celebrations continued across Richmond Friday morning on the first day of the Year of the Horse.

Asian-themed malls, temples and public spaces transformed into small festival grounds. Lion dances, dragon dances, food and musical entertainment put an exclamation point on the day.

Aberdeen Centre and Yaohan Centre kicked off celebrations at 11 a.m. with the lighting of firecrackers, followed by dragon and lion dances.

Vancouver International Airport also hosted an event, which was scheduled to continue until 1 p.m. Live music, Chinese calligraphy demonstrations, fortune-telling and a traditional lion dance marked the day.

Temple-goers at Lingyen Mountain Temple on No. 5 Road also marked the Lunar New Year—celebrations attended by federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau also attended Aberdeen Centre's popular Chinese New Year countdown event Thursday night, where Coun. Bill McNulty served as God of Fortune, handing out lucky envelopes and wishing people a happy new year.

"It was overwhelming last night," said McNulty, who has served as the mall's Cai Shen for 20 years in a row. "There had to be 1,500 people—all the balconies were filled, families were here. It was a joyous and festive event, and very multicultural."

Other upcoming events:

•Feb. 1: Richmond Chinese Community Society hosts a celebration at Richmond Centre mall at 1:30 p.m.

•Feb. 2: Lansdowne Centre mall hosts the Richmond Chinese Community Society's second celebration, set for 12:30 to 5 p.m.

•Feb. 2: Pacific Plaza, at 8888 Odlin Cres., hosts a Chinese New Year lion eye-dotting ceremony.

•Feb. 2/3: Aberdeen Centre hosts a weekend of celebrations from 1 to 4 p.m.

•Feb. 8: Yaohan Centre, 3700 No. 3 Rd. hosts a stage show from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

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