Chinese New Year starts this Friday, February 12 – the first day of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This holiday is all about luck, health, and reuniting with family. It’s a major celebration in several Asian countries and also here in Canada and the Greater Toronto Area.
Chinese New Year usually brings together family and friends to partake in festivities and traditions that occur over a 15-day period. The celebrations begin with a family feast called a reunion dinner full of traditional Lunar New Year foods, and typically end with the Lantern Festival.
This year, the festivities will be a little different – and the celebrations a bit quieter – as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter our lives and gatherings. However, the same traditions, customs, and delicious food will prevail in 2021. Here are some fun ways to celebrate Chinese New Year this year in Toronto.
Celebrate the Spirit of Family Gatherings
Lunar New Year is all about reuniting with family and catching up with your loved ones, be they relatives or friends. This can be a challenge if you don’t live with your family or have to travel to see them, but you can celebrate the spirit of gathering with your family no matter how far away you are.
If you live on your own or away from your family, make sure to stay connected. Sending cards or letters can be a fun way to send your love from afar, and will delight the recipient. Make a date to connect virtually by setting up a video conference call, or surprise a loved one with a phone call.
Embrace Lunar New Year Traditions
While there won’t be any parades happening this year, many other traditions can carry on.
But first, gather your broom and cleaning supplies! Before the arrival of the new year, make sure to clean your home thoroughly to sweep away ill fortune and welcome good luck. Clear out last year’s clutter and splurge on some new clothes – beautiful red clothes, of course. Brighten up with some colour! The Lunar New Year is all about celebrating fortune, health, and happiness.
Enjoy the tradition of exchanging gifts with your loved ones, and giving children money in red envelopes. If you live with your family, you’ll be able to enjoy the New Year’s Eve tradition of gathering with your family to celebrate and enjoy sumptuous traditional feasts.
There are also several superstitions related to Lunar New Year which are said to bring good fortune into the next year and to protect against bad fortune. Whether it’s not arguing, paying back your debts, not cutting your hair on New Year, or wearing red, embrace all of your favourite rituals, traditions, and superstitions this year.
Enjoy Delicious Feasts
It wouldn’t be Chinese New Year without the amazing food. Even if you’re unable to gather with your family or to visit your favourite restaurants this year, you can still cook your own feast or enjoy some of the many amazing take-out options in Toronto.
From fish, chicken and dumplings to sweet rice balls, braised shiitake mushrooms, tangerines and oranges, spring rolls and more, you’ll want to enjoy the many delicious options associated with Chinese New Year.
Some great options for Toronto restaurants offering Lunar New Year menus include George Restaurant, Momofuku, Lai Wah Heen, DaiLo, Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant, R&D, Lee Restaurant, Eatertainment, Sunny’s Chinese, and Perfect Chinese Restaurant.
We wish all of our Chinese friends, clients and partners a happy Chinese New Year! How are you celebrating this year? Join us on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and let us know!