Last Saturday, I realized that my snow boots are not waterproof as I slogged through the slushy mess that was Chinatown and Giovanni Caboto Park. I endured hours of wet socks tormenting my cold, cramping feet (no doubt a leading factor in the flu that hit me this week).
But it was worth it (although I could definitely have lived without the flu part). The Lunar New Year celebrations in Chinatown were spectacular as always - loud and colourful. I especially enjoy the dragon and lion dances, and once again, my eardrums popped when the firecrackers were set off (I keep forgetting to bring earplugs). There were other Lunar New Year celebrations at indoor locations in Edmonton, but there is nothing like being outside in the winter right in Chinatown watching the community celebrate. Here are photos that I took as well as videos of the dragon dance, lion dance, and a business being blessed (listen to those loud firecrackers!).
Then, after a bowl of pho to warm up, it was over a few blocks to Giovanni Caboto Park to take in Common Ground. Common Ground was part of the Winter Light Festival, and featured a transformation of the park. Most of the snow was cleared away into huge windrows (which were being used as sled hills by children), with a Heritage Village with teepees, snowshoeing, African drumming, and more. In the evening, the park was alight with coloured lights and lanterns, and finished off with a community feast. Common Ground celebrated the different cultures represented in the McCauley area - Chinese, Italian, Aboriginal, and African - and demonstrated how much we have to learn from each other. Here are some photos.
So, last Saturday I indeed felt as though I walked through a winter wonderland. However, next time I think I will bring galoshes and a change of socks.