Chinese New Year in Canada
Many people in countries such as Canada celebrate Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year. It marks the first day of the New Year in the Chinese calendar.
What do people do?
Chinese New Year is a vibrant and festive occasion for many people in Canada. This event can last for many days and often includes various festivities such as street parades and festivals featuring dancing, traditional Chinese costumes, firework displays, food stalls, and arts and crafts.
Many Chinese Canadian families spend time together giving gifts, particularly red envelopes with money (Hong Bao, Ang Pao, or Lai See) that are normally given to children. Some Canadian organizations have also participated in Chinese New Year through various activities over the years. For example, Canada Post issued special stamps to welcome the Chinese New Year in previous times. The Royal Canadian Mint also marked Chinese New Year with a new series of coins in the past.
Chinese New Year is not a nationwide public holiday in Canada. However, some Chinese businesses may be closed on the day or amend their business hours to take part in the Chinese New Year festivities. There may be heavy traffic and some streets may be closed in towns or cities where Chinese New Year celebrations are held.
The Chinese community in Canada has a long history dating back to the 19th century. The Chinese moved to Canada for various reasons related to employment and opportunities associated with the Canada’s growth. All across Canada, starting in the 1890s, cities and larger towns began to develop their own Chinatown districts.
British Columbia was home to more than 60 percent of Canada's Chinese before World War II, according to sources such as Library and Archives Canada. But for many years after a ban on Chinese immigration was revoked in 1947, the province received only one-third of new Chinese immigrants. This meant that Chinese families were settling all across Canada. Canada is today seen as a multicultural country in which festivals such as Chinese New Year are celebrated each year.
Chinese New Year has various symbols and traditions. For example, flowers are an important part of New Year decorations. Writings that refer to good luck are often seen in homes and business environments. They are usually written by brush on a diamond-shaped piece of red paper. Tangerines and oranges are also displayed in many homes and stores as a sign of luck and wealth.
Envelopes with money (Hong Bao, Ang Pao, or Lai See) often come in the color red, which symbolizes happiness, good luck, success and good fortune. These envelopes are mainly given as presents to children. Each Chinese New Year is associated with an animal name for one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac.
About Chinese New Year in other countriesRead more about Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year Observances
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday type||Where it is observed|
|Sun||Feb 14||2010||Chinese New Year||Observance|
|Thu||Feb 3||2011||Chinese New Year||Observance|
|Mon||Jan 23||2012||Chinese New Year||Observance|
|Sun||Feb 10||2013||Chinese New Year||Observance|
|Fri||Jan 31||2014||Chinese New Year||Observance|
|Thu||Feb 19||2015||Chinese New Year||Observance|
|Mon||Feb 8||2016||Chinese New Year||Observance|
|Sat||Jan 28||2017||Chinese New Year||Observance|
|Fri||Feb 16||2018||Chinese New Year||Observance|
|Tue||Feb 5||2019||Chinese New Year||Observance|
|Sat||Jan 25||2020||Chinese New Year||Observance|
Quick FactsChinese New Year marks the first day of the New Year in the Chinese calendar.
Chinese New Year 2015Thursday, February 19, 2015
Chinese New Year 2016Monday, February 8, 2016
Name in other languages
|Chinese New Year||English|
|Le Nouvel an Chinois||French|
Alternative nameSpring Festival
Other holidays in February 2016 in Canada
- Groundhog Day – Tuesday, February 2, 2016
- Family Day – Monday, February 8, 2016
- Carnival/Shrove Tuesday – Tuesday, February 9, 2016
- Ash Wednesday – Wednesday, February 10, 2016
- Valentine's Day – Sunday, February 14, 2016
- National Flag of Canada Day – Monday, February 15, 2016
- Yukon Heritage Day – Friday, February 26, 2016