Posted : January 23, 2014
Our blog is chock full of great ideas for fun things to see and do in York Durham and Headwaters. We are always adding new content and updating old posts, but sometimes you might stumble upon something from our vault. If this article has inspired you to hit the road, be sure to double-check that the featured stops in this post are still welcoming visitors.
Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year arrives on January 31, 2014.
More than a billion people worldwide will be welcoming the Year of the Horse with festivities, feasting and family.
Chinese New Year is one of the most important events for Central Counties’ large Asian community and there are plenty of inexpensive ways to celebrate.
SHOP and CELEBRATE
This is a great opportunity to visit Pacific Mall – North America’s largest indoor Chinese mall with over 500 shops and restaurants selling everything from cell phones to sunglasses and candy to Chinese herbs.
You can count down on New Year’s Eve at the Countdown Bash on January 30, 2014 starting at 10 PM.
Because of its size, Pacific Mall, which is busy and bustling year-round will become even more busy during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Many stores and shops will be adorned with colourful lanterns and decorations in honour of the New Year and restaurants will be offering special and sometimes extravagant menus as families and friends gather to celebrate.
There will be a big celebration on New Year’s Day (Friday January 31, 2014) starting at 2:30 PM and door to door lion dance performances on February 8 starting at 12:30 PM.
If you’re looking for a quieter celebration and a smaller crowd, there’s First Markham Place in Markham and Times Square in Richmond Hill where you can get a glimpse of the traditional lion dance and maybe a martial arts performance.
EAT and DECORATE
Food is a big part of Lunar New Year celebrations and dishes that are believed to bring good fortune in the new year can be found at every dinner table.
You can watch workers hand pull noodles at Sun’s Kitchen in Pacific Mall, make dumplings at Ding Tai Fung at First Markham Place or feast on traditional Northern Chinese dishes at Northern Dumpling in Times Square.
Mandarins and dumplings symbolize prosperity, sticky rice represents a tight family bond, noodles promote a long life, and a whole fish symbolizes abundance.
If you are looking to celebrate at home, many of stores in the shopping centres mentioned above as well as grocery stores in York Region are well stocked with Asian themed decorations, snacks and foods.
Welcome guests with 8 different sweets, candy or fruits on a round tray. The tray represents togetherness and 8 is believed to represent fortune.
Fresh flowers and plants symbolize new growth, rebirth and good fortune and many purchase bamboo plants, pussy willows, lucky pineapple plants and money trees for their homes.
Red symbolizes joy and the Chinese word for red sounds like the word prosperous.
Decorate your home with red calligraphy posters and paper lanterns which invoke good fortune. Firecrackers are believed to scare off evil spirits.
“Lai see” (red envelopes with lucky money inside) is given by elders to children and younger unmarried family members symbolizing luck and prosperity.
However you decide to celebrate, we wish you and your family a prosperous and happy new year.
Gung Hay Fat Choy! Gong Xi Fa Cai!