Chinatown Parade and Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver

On Saturday, while I was visiting the Sun Yat Sen Garden, a parade celebrating the sixtieth birthday of communist China (at least that’s what I was told it was … although China itself is many thousands of years old), was massing on the streets of Chinatown and in the courtyard outside the Garden and Park. I love the many bright colours of red, gold, pink, yellow and green with which the floats and props are decorated and the amazing expressive energy of the large plush animal heads. While outside, the air was vibrating with noise and movement, inside the garden, stillness reigned. Although quite small, the Sun Yat Sen Garden is a tiny jewel set amidst a not-so-jewel-like part of town.

I was there in time to watch the big koi fish being fed; their keeper puts a large brass drum into the water and strikes it with a gong, making a deep metallic sound that penetrates into the water, calling the fish toward him. This day, perhaps because they were being fed in the park by visitors from the parade, only two of the twenty-two koi appeared, along with another much smaller white fish who snuck in underneath the lily pads. (The largest golden-orange beast is 43 years old, with quite enormous whiskers like a catfish). The keeper explained that the fish had been trained to come to the call of the drum and that the small guy was not a koi, but an interloper dumped in the pond by an anonymous visitor.

See more pictures here.

Read more about the Garden here.

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