Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is a seven-day celebration of good fortune, happiness, and prosperity. Preparation includes freeing homes of misfortune through thorough cleaning and sweeping and also extends to personal grooming practices, with many folks getting their hair cut until the eleventh hour.
Chinese New Year begins with a reunion dinner and ends with the Lantern Festival. During the reunion dinner, whole families get together at home or a restaurant to eat dumplings and noodles, among other fine foods.
In anticipation, we hit the streets of Toronto’s Chinatown to get the skinny. After stopping in to a few places, we can definitely say that family and food are the focal point of this holiday of luck.
Henry of Henry’s Salon was quick to point out the differences between Chinese New Year in China and Chinese New Year in Canada, as well as their contrast to Canadian New Year. As Henry said, “In China, we ate chicken for Chinese New Year, but in Canada, lobster. Not fried, of course, for the sake of good health.” He also noted that Chinese New Year is mainly connected to older generations, whereas second and third generations often celebrate Canadian New Year with turkey. Word on the street is that Peking duck is also a strong favourite.
Lastly, in addition to relaxing on Chinese New Year, children are paid lucky money in red packets to ensure their whole year will be lucky.
Gong Xi Fa Cai!
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