When the half of the moon not illuminated by the sun faces the Earth, the moon is dubbed a “new moon.” The Lunar New Year — more commonly known as the Chinese New Year — is on the first New Moon of the Gregorian calendar. In 2007, Lunar New Year’s Day is on February 18, the first day of year 4705 according to the ancient Chinese calendar. It will also be the year of the Pig!
The Pig is all about fertility, virility, and honesty. If your Chinese zodiac sign is the Pig, be sure to know that your Mandarin buffet match is shrimp chow mein and garden salad.
The Lunar New Year isn’t just a Chinese festival. Many cultures, other Asian cultures in particular, deem it as the most important traditional holiday and therefore a cause for celebration. Toronto just may believe the same. From February 16 to February 18, Toronto will host the largest Lunar New Year festival in Canada at the Automotive Building (Exhibition grounds). Honour the year of the fire boar with a lion dance, acrobatics, kung-fu, tai chi, dumplings, and souvenirs. There will also be a Chinese-Canadian history exhibit and a market devoted to Lunar New Year flowers. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for youth and the 65+, and free for the kids.
For something less commercial, the Chinese Cultural Centre will host an afternoon of a lion dance, folk dancing, and music at City Hall on Lunar New Year’s Eve during the day, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. You can also attend the celebrations at the CCC on February 18 at noon. Expect a similar to but smaller, more community oriented program than Toronto Celebrates Lunar New Year 2007. Check out the Chinese calligraphy demonstrations, those are always cool. Admission is free.
So happy New Year! May prosperity be with you.
Photo by Giovanni JL.