Year of the dragon: Vietnamese Lunar New Year festival in Montreal

"We have to do something to share with Canadian and Vietnamese," says traditional drum instructor, Mae Van Lu, of Montreal's Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration. Anastasia Dextrene reports.

Montreal’s Vietnamese community celebrated a Lunar New Year festival Sunday.

The Tết celebrations for the “year of the dragon” were held at Montreal’s Gare Windsor.

Among the traditions were dragon dancing and musical performances, as the community hopes to start the year off fresh.

“When I was young, the one that I loved the most is the dragon dance,” said Nga Nguyen, president of the Montreal Vietnamese Community.

“We have lion dance. We have the distribution of the lai see — it’s the red envelope to the young people. And we wish them to have a very good luck during the years.”

Festival for Vietnamese Lunar New Year at Montreal’s Gare Windsor Jan. 28, 2024. (Anastasia Dextrene, CityNews)

This year, Vietnam’s Lunar New Year falls on Feb. 10.

The celebrations based on a lunisolar calendar can last over a week, with members of the community — like performers Therese Than Nguyen and Mae Van Lu — honouring their culture and traditions as best they can.

“Being able to celebrate with family is also very nice for me because my family is not always everyone together, because we’re six,” said Therese Than Nguyen, a traditional Vietnamese drum performer.

“We came here, we do everything for our second country here, for our country here,” added drum instructor Lu. “That’s why we have to do something to share with Canadian and Vietnamese. We have to, together.”

As a New Year’s resolution, Nga Nguyen is looking ahead.

“The Vietnamese community, going to be bigger, going to be stronger. And we hope that the Vietnamese people can contribute more.”

Top Stories

Top Stories