Red envelopes and freshly made dumplings will be visible in houses across the country, and the entire world, as the Chinese community welcomes in the Chinese New Year on Feb. 16.
Also known as the Spring Festival in modern China, and Lunar New Years in Asia, traditional Chinese New Year celebrations centre around the family. A large feast is prepared on the eve of Chinese New Year and children are given money in red envelopes, thought to bring good luck.
The traditional feast consists of noodles, that represent happiness and longevity; dumplings and spring rolls, that represent wealth; sweet rice balls, represent family togetherness; rice cakes, that signify higher income; and many more staple items.
On New Year’s Day, many spend the day paying homage to their ancestors.
Of course, what many people do know about the Chinese New Year is that every year represents a different animal from the Chinese zodiac, but what some may not know is it is also associated with an element of the earth.
This year is the Year of the Dog. Because it is paired with the Earth element, children born this year are expected to have grounded and altruistic qualities. Generally, as one can expect, those born in the Year of Dog are known to be loyal, honest, friendly, faithful and straightforward.
The last Year of the Dog was in 2006, and the next one will be in 2030.
To make the most of the Chinese New Year festivities make your way to your town’s Chinatown or check to see if any parades are scheduled for this weekend. Vancouver puts on one of the biggest Chinese New Year parades in the country. Canadian Armed Forces units have been traditionally been a part of this parade.
To mark this special occasion, Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan tweeted out a video wishing everyone a happy Chinese New Year. In the message he stated:
“The lunar new year is an opportunity to reflect on the successes of the past year and look forward to new beginnings. It is also a time to build deeper connections with our friends, families and our community.”
To learn more about the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dog click here.