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Richmond grandpa gets ready to celebrate a lost Chinese Festival with local MLAs

Richmond 87-year-old grandpa Howe is ready to celebrate the Double Ninth Festival with local MLAs Friday afternoon.
Howe Chan said the Double Ninth Festival made him feel nostalgic.

Howe Chan, 87, has been showered with attention since he talked to the Richmond News about reviving a lost Chinese Festival that honours ancestors and celebrates seniors.

“I am so grateful that many people from the community are willing to spend time with an old man like me. Although it has been raining these days, my heart is filled with warmth and love,” said Chan.

Richmond’s three NDP MLAs, along with other community members, have been clamouring to help Chan celebrate Double Ninth Festival after reading in the Richmond News how Chan is trying to keep alive the ancient memorial festival that falls on Oct. 14.

The coverage drew the attention of MLAs Kelly Greene, Henry Yao, and Aman Singh who all intend to celebrate the festival with Chan today (Oct. 15) at the South Arm Community Centre.

“I am well-prepared for this event and ready to answer any questions about the festival,” Chan said with a laugh.

Chan’s wife has opted not to join in the festivities because “she is a bit shy and doesn’t like the publicity,” said Chan. But she’s happy that the day is finally being recognized, he added.

In China, people usually hike a mountain, carrying a branch of a dogwood tree (symbolizes good luck),  and enjoy the vibrant golden colour of the season to celebrate Double Ninth Festival, explained Chan. He noted that this festival is also known as “Senior Citizens’ Day,” as nine represents “longevity” in China.