Windsor will celebrate Chinese New Year online for the first time

For the first time in nearly 50 years, Daniel and Dora Law won't be celebrating the Chinese New Year with a restaurant full of guests. 

In-person celebrations have been swapped out for online gatherings due to COVID-19

Dora Law (left) and Danny Law (middle) have owned Windsor's The Red Sail restaurant since 1972. Usually it's a full house for the Chinese New Year, but things will look different this year. (Tahmina Aziz/CBC)

For the first time in nearly 50 years, Daniel and Dora Law won't be celebrating the Chinese New Year with a restaurant full of guests. 

The couple, who have owned The Red Sail restaurant in Windsor since 1972, will ring in the Year of the Ox on Friday with only a few of their restaurant staff. 

And they're not the only ones. 

COVID-19 has cancelled in-person celebrations for the community in Windsor, who would typically celebrate the new year with live performances. 

"As soon as this pandemic is over we will do it again," Dora told CBC News. 

But for now, she said they only plan on joining online events and calling up family and friends to wish them a happy new year. 

"[We will] call each other and everyone just to make all customers in good health and stay safe," she said, adding that they'll still be making all sorts of food, including chicken, fish, duck, noodles and rice. 

The Red Sail restaurant in Windsor still plans on cooking food for the day. (Tahmina Aziz/CBC)

On Saturday, Dora and Daniel, along with other members of the Essex County Chinese Canadian Association, will celebrate the new year together but online. 

President of the association, Stephen Tsui, said it's what it has to be this year. 

"It's not as happy as before, but most members that I know they understand the situation, everybody still want to be safe and they like to follow the safety guidelines provided by the government and hopefully in a few months we can sit together and we can get together and chat and eat and enjoy life," he said. 

By the fall, Tsui hopes the group can meet in person and celebrate its 45th anniversary. 

Essex County Chinese Canadian Association hopes that by the fall its members can get together in-person once again. (Tahmina Aziz/CBC)


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