Dragon dance and cultural performances in Chinatown. Right: Asian cuisine at the Ottawa night market.

Dragon dance and cultural performances in Chinatown. Right: Asian cuisine at the Ottawa night market.

You can feel like you're touring around Asia this summer right at the Ottawa Chinatown Night Market under the Chinatown Royal Gateway.

From Friday, July 22 to Sunday, July 24, this summer festival will feature non-stop food vendors, live performances, activities and photo spots. Not only can you discover authentic cuisines, but there will be about 170 cultural performances during the three-day festival.

There will be traditional music and dramatic art performances, costume shows, martial arts demonstrations, and tons of "multi-ethnic performances" from Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Canada, the performances manager for the event told Narcity.

One of the highlights is the authentic dragon and lion dances, which will be performed two or three times each day. Four lions and two dragons will dance their way along Somerset Street, under the Royal Arch, along with gongs and drums.

"In Chinese culture, dragons and lions are the mascots that bring good luck to eliminate disasters," the manager said.

Traditional Chinese characters from historical tales will also be part of the experience. Visitors can also stop by the Art Flow Gallery where they can learn to write their names in Chinese and draw their own zodiac sign on rice paper.

If you want to grab a bite to eat, there will be tons of food to try at the night market. A spokesperson for the Chinese Cuisine and Hospitality Association of Canada shared there will be "Shao Bing" street food, which is a baked bun filled with veggies or meat and cooked in a wooden barrel. You can also dine on flavoured egg waffles, grilled squid and lamb skewers, and so much more.

If you're not sure what to try out first, the Chinatown BIA said that the fried Stinky Tofu is a "must-have". This tofu has a strong fermented smell, but has a sweet and spicy taste and comes with chilli or soy dipping.

So, if you're mouth is already watering, you might want to add this festival to your summer bucket list.

Ottawa Chinatown Night Market

Price: Free to visit

When: Friday, July 22 to Sunday, July 24, 2022

Address: Chinatown, Somerset St. W. (Between Bronson Ave. and Bell St.), Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can celebrate various Asian cultures with food and fun at this summer festival in Ottawa. Check out the lion and dragon dances that are meant to bring prosperity and luck.


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