The history of Chinese New Year and how Canadian families celebrate

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Every year, after the holiday decorations come down and the New Year's Eve party gets cleaned away, Canadians are given another reason to celebrate. Chinese New Year falls annually between January 21 and February 20, marking the turn of the Chinese calendar. With Canadians of all backgrounds choosing to partake in the festivities, the holiday is garnering more and more attention.

History of Chinese New Year The history is rooted in the legend of Nian, a beast who would terrorize the local villages in search of food. To protect their families from the beast, villagers learned from an elder to put up red lanterns, red paper and firecrackers near their doors as Nian was afraid of the colour and loud sounds.

Chinese New Year traditions todayThese parts of the story still play an important role today, with families adorning their homes in red decorations and hosting reunion dinners. Friends and loved ones gather together for this celebration where a variety of traditional dishes are served, each symbolizing a hope for the new year ahead including prosperity, fertility and luck.