Saturday, 13 November 2010

Canada Trip Day 19: Canada Day at Rue Sainte Catherine

1 July 2010 - Today celebrates the national day of Canada and we caught wind of a parade happening but did not have a clue where it was being held. As we were walking along Boulevard René-Lévesque, we saw some people dressed in colourful costumes and a few were heading westward along the street. We decided to follow them until we came to a road block patrolled by the police who only allowed people involving in the parade to pass. We met two ladies in Chinese costumes who claimed to be members of the Falun Gong. Immediately, my mind was screaming the word "cult" and God knows how my face had expressed my reaction. Many years ago, I remembered hearing news of Falun Gong members being prosecuted by the Chinese government because they were practising cult. The two ladies were friendly and started talking to us about Falun Gong before we were informed that the parade was going to take place at Rue Sainte Catherine.

It was after my meeting with the two ladies that I read up more on Falun Gong, which based some of its principles on Buddhism. Articles here and here, both written by founder of Falun Gong, Li Hongzhi, will shed more light about this.

Rue Saint Catherine was quite empty when we got there but, people were slowing filling the streets, taking comfortable spots to view the parade. Canada flags were being handed out.

The parade was modest and brief compared what I expected. Still, there were many colourful costumes and many smiling people to watch.

This is mum trying to ask people in costumes the whereabouts of the parade

A person handing out Canada flags

Rue Sainte Catherine still quite empty

A family sitting across us

Soon, the place was filling up with more people

Man cleaning the street while people were getting comfortable in their spots

Lady with a toddler in a stroller looking for their spot

People sitting by the side of the street waiting for the parade to start

Daughter carrying tiny Canada flags with her father sitting right across us

The parade started with two police men on horses taking the lead

An elderly man in army attire, perhaps an army veteran?

Men playing bagpipes

Elderly man stretching his arms to the crowd with a waving flag of Ghana

The Karnak band

A clown waving his Canada flag

Elderly couple happily enjoying the parade

Man in arabic clothes

Karnak Oriental Band

Karnak Shriners in mini automobiles

Another Karnak Shriners member in mini automobile happily waving to me

Karnak Shriners on miniboat with wheels

with a big bass drum from Montreal Piping & Drumming School, with Karnak Shriners as sponsor.

Quebec Goan Association

Young Academy of Irish Dance

Another piping and drumming band

Representing India

MAGD Stars International Dance in Baton Rythmique

Ladies in traditional Hungarian costumes waving Hungary's flag

Man representing Indonesia by wearing demonic mask

Men wearing traditional Indonesian attire, playing traditional Indonesian instruments in a decorated truck

Girl wearing traditional Ukranian attire

Man playing big bass drum, representing Les Éclairs de Québec

A bit of masquerade with ladies in masks and colourful costumes

Representing Panama is this amazingly colourful costume

A winner of a beauty pageant

More Canadian beauties with their tiaras

Representing the Filipino community

Band from the Filipino community

Elderly man in colourful traditional attire carrying a big flag of Canada

Elderly Filipino ladies full of smiles, waving Canada flag

Falun Dafa

Falun Dafa had the biggest group with a long marching band

On the baritone horn and trombone

As finishing to the parade were these street and vacuum sweepers, that came washing and cleaning the streets

Vacuum truck that goes around the street sucking trash

Street sweeper washing the street

Lastly, an array of police men in motorcycles passed. I was taking pictures of mum and sis with the passing policemen when one stopped and ushered us to take pictures with him.

Vacuum sweepers

Someone was handing out Puma promotional discount flyers and soon, a beeline was forming outside Puma

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