On August 20 & 21, 2022, the Toronto Chinatown Business Improvement Area (CBIA) will host the 22nd Toronto Chinatown Festival (TCF) under the theme of the “Eight Immortals” (八仙), taking after the popular Chinese mythology. In Chinese mythology, the Eight Immortals are believed to know the secrets of nature. They represent separately male, female, the old, the young, the rich, the noble, the poor, and the humble.
The Eight Immortals are:
- Lü Dongbin (呂洞賓) – a scholar and poet considered to be the leader of the Eight Immortals.
- He Xiangu (何仙姑) – in the modern context generally seen as the only female of the group, often depicted holding a lotus flower.
- Cao Guojiu (曹國舅) – related to a Song dynasty emperor before he became an immortal.
- Li Tieguai (李鐵拐) – associated with medicine and easing the suffering of the sick and needy, identified by his iron crutch and Calabash bottle.
- Lan Caihe (藍采和) – originally pictured as female later developed an ambiguous or more accurately, a “transformative” gender and is considered the patron of florists and gardeners.
- Han Xiangzi (韓湘子) – a flute artist.
- Zhang Guolao (張果老) – a Taoist symbol of longevity.
- Zhongli Quan (鍾離權) – associated with death and the power to create silver and gold, often depicted holding a fan.
After a turbulent whirlwind of events in the last two years, the CBIA is pleased to bring back the iconic annual festival bringing over 250,000 visitors every year during the two-day event. Visitors may expect an enchanted two-day program filled with cultural performances, traditional street eats, family activities on Huron St., a parade from the 8 Immortals, Dragon and Lion Dance performances and many more!