Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is considered the beginning of spring and is a celebration that begins on the new moon between January 28 and runs to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day, initiating a year of the rooster.
According to legend, New Year celebrations originated in ancient times, when a monster named “Nian” would terrorize villagers and destroy crops. The villagers discovered the monster could be scared off by loud noises and the colour red. They created a model of the monster from bamboo and paper, with two men inside to scare off “Nian.” On New Year’s Eve, the villagers set off firecrackers, beat drums and cymbals, and performed a dance with the model they created, successfully chasing away the monster.
This carried on annually, with a lion and/or dragon dance being performed on Chinese New Year, red lanterns and decorations filling the streets, and loud drum and cymbal performances. This holiday is an important time for families and friends to gather together and celebrate with large feasts.*
If you would like to learn more, or participate in celebrating the Year of the Rooster, head to one of the following events happening near you.
Vancouver: The annual parade through the streets of Chinatown is scheduled for Sunday, January 29 at 11 a.m. You can watch performers in traditional costumes, see lion dances and other cultural dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, and more. The parade starts at the Millenium Gate on Pender Street, and finishes at Keefer and Abbott. See the route map here.
Richmond: Celebrate at the Yaohan Centre mall January 9th. You’ll find a Flower Market and a Lucky Bag Redemption (spend a certain dollar amount at the mall, and receive a bag with surprise gifts).
Cultural performances, and a spectacular golden dragon and lion dance are scheduled for January 28th at the Aberdeen Centre.
The Richmond Public Library has a number of events scheduled from January 28 – February 11. Ring in the Year of the Rooster with Chinese couplets, lantern riddles, Chinese New Year celebrations, and themed book displays and decorations in-branch.
West Vancouver: You’re invited to West Vancouver’s Chinese New Year Celebration January 28th, to welcome the Year of the Rooster 2017. Enjoy classic lion and dragon performances by Kung Fu masters and participate in lantern riddles. Mayor Michael Smith will be present for opening remarks at 2 p.m. Chinese culture with festive fun, prizes and giveaways.