Annual festival focuses on good food and fortune
Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is one of the most vibrant celebrations in the Chinese calendar. The holiday is an experience for the senses, marked by costumes, decorations, lively parades, brilliant lights and the crack, hiss and pop of firecrackers.
The 15-day festival begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice — sometime between Jan. 21 and Feb. 19 — and is based on the ancient Chinese calendar which existed as early as the 14th century BC. This year, Mayor and Members of Council joined residents and guests at Vaughan City Hall on Jan. 31 to usher in the Chinese New Year and welcome the Year of the Red Monkey, which happens to be the 4,713th Chinese Year.
Chinese New Year and its customs originated from the ancient Chinese legend of Nian, a wild beast appearing each year at the end of winter, according to history.ca. A threat to villagers, Nian was scared away by the colour red, together with loud noises and bright lights. Red symbolizes happiness, abundance and good luck and is often worn during new year celebrations. Red envelopes are also distributed to friends and family with lucky money inside. During the late hours of Chinese New Year’s Eve, families make dumplings together and eat long noodles, traditional foods symbolizing good fortune and long life.
The City of Vaughan is a vibrant, multicultural city that continues to celebrate its diversity and share special Chinese New Year customs and celebrations with the community. This year’s event was organized in partnership with the Federation of Chinese Canadians in Vaughan (FCCV) and cmg Artist Management and sponsored by PowerStream, The Remington Group, Senator Homes, Splendid China Mall, Madison Homes, The Vogue Development Group and Paradise Banquet and Convention Centre.
This year’s festivities included a traditional lion dance, an eye-dotting ceremony, and a visit from the God of Fortune. There were also cultural performances, including Japanese drumming, and a special appearance by Jonas M. and the Grand Illusion of Neil Croswell and Ashley Da Silva.